Assessment and Analysis of the Radioprotective Effects of Moringa Oleifera Lam. Aqueous Extracts on Human Chromosomes Against Gamma Radiation

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Moringa oleifera Lam. has a variety of medicinal benefits, and has been known to confer radioprotective effects. Although the radioprotective effects of M. oleifera extracts have previously been identified in albino mice, its radioprotective effects in humans were unknown. This study aimed to assess the radioprotective effect of different concentrations of aqueous extracts of M. oleifera powdered leaves in the chromosomes of human blood lymphocytes against gamma radiation. Untreated and unirradiated peripheral human blood was used as a reference for chromosome structure identification. Three different concentrations of M. oleifera aqueous solution (566, 942, and 1130 µg mL-1) obtained from M. oleifera powder were added to peripheral human blood. A positive control was prepared consisting of human blood lymphocytes treated with 40 µL of 100 mg mL-1 N-acetylcysteine, an antioxidant, while a negative control consisted of human blood lymphocytes without treatment. All five groups were irradiated with 4 Gy of gamma-radiation. Chromosomal aberrations were then scored and analyzed. Results showed that the three concentrations of M. oleifera extracts had radioprotective effects comparable to N-acetylcysteine, with treatment groups having lower average aberrations per cell compared to irradiated blood cells without treatment. These radioprotective effects could possibly be attributed to the phenol, flavonoid, and glucosinolate content of M. oleifera leaves. Of these observed chromosomal aberrations, acentric fragments were the most common in all treatment groups. However, no concentration-dependent radioprotective effects were observed across all three dosages. This is the first report on the radioprotective effects of Moringa oleifera Lam. aqueous extracts on human chromosomes against gamma radiation.