Stable, water extractable isothiocyanates from Moringa oleifera leaves attenuate inflammation in vitro

Carrie Waterman, Diana M. Cheng, Patricio Rojas-Silva, Alexander Poulev, Julia Dreifus, Mary Ann Lila, Ilya Raskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is an edible plant used as both a food and medicine throughout the tropics. A moringa concentrate (MC), made by extracting fresh leaves with water, utilized naturally occurring myrosinase to convert four moringa glucosinolates into moringa isothiocyanates. Optimum conditions maximizing MC yield, 4-[(α-L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl]isothiocyanate, and 4-[(4′-O-acetyl-α-L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl]isothiocyanate content were established (1:5 fresh leaf weight to water ratio at room temperature). The optimized MC contained 1.66% isothiocyanates and 3.82% total polyphenols. 4-[(4′-O-acetyl-α-L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl]isothiocyanate exhibited 80% stability at 37 °C for 30 days. MC, and both of the isothiocyanates described above significantly decreased gene expression and production of inflammatory markers in RAW macrophages. Specifically, both attenuated expression of iNOS and IL-1β and production of nitric oxide and TNFα at 1 and 5 μM. These results suggest a potential for stable and concentrated moringa isothiocyanates, delivered in MC as a food-grade product, to alleviate low-grade inflammation associated with chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • 4-[(4′-O-acetyl-α- L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl]isothiocyanate
  • 4-[(α-L-rhamnosyloxy)benzyl]isothiocyanate
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Isothiocyanates
  • Moringa oleifera
  • Moringaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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