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      Leaf Protein and Mineral Concentrations across the “Miracle Tree” Genus Moringa

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          Abstract

          The moringa tree Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree cultivated across the lowland dry tropics worldwide for its nutritious leaves. Despite its nutritious reputation, there has been no systematic survey of the variation in leaf nutritional quality across M. oleifera grown worldwide, or of the other species of the genus. To guide informed use of moringa, we surveyed protein, macro-, and micro- nutrients across 67 common garden samples of 12 Moringa taxa, including 23 samples of M. oleifera. Moringa oleifera, M. concanensis, M. stenopetala, an M. concanensis X oleifera hybrid, and M. longituba were highest in protein, with M. ruspoliana having the highest calcium levels. A protein-dry leaf mass tradeoff may preclude certain breeding possibilities, e.g. maximally high protein with large leaflets. These findings identify clear priorities and limitations for improved moringa varieties with traits such as high protein, calcium, or ease of preparation.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Maternal and child undernutrition and overweight in low-income and middle-income countries.

          Maternal and child malnutrition in low-income and middle-income countries encompasses both undernutrition and a growing problem with overweight and obesity. Low body-mass index, indicative of maternal undernutrition, has declined somewhat in the past two decades but continues to be prevalent in Asia and Africa. Prevalence of maternal overweight has had a steady increase since 1980 and exceeds that of underweight in all regions. Prevalence of stunting of linear growth of children younger than 5 years has decreased during the past two decades, but is higher in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa than elsewhere and globally affected at least 165 million children in 2011; wasting affected at least 52 million children. Deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc result in deaths; deficiencies of iodine and iron, together with stunting, can contribute to children not reaching their developmental potential. Maternal undernutrition contributes to fetal growth restriction, which increases the risk of neonatal deaths and, for survivors, of stunting by 2 years of age. Suboptimum breastfeeding results in an increased risk for mortality in the first 2 years of life. We estimate that undernutrition in the aggregate--including fetal growth restriction, stunting, wasting, and deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc along with suboptimum breastfeeding--is a cause of 3·1 million child deaths annually or 45% of all child deaths in 2011. Maternal overweight and obesity result in increased maternal morbidity and infant mortality. Childhood overweight is becoming an increasingly important contributor to adult obesity, diabetes, and non-communicable diseases. The high present and future disease burden caused by malnutrition in women of reproductive age, pregnancy, and children in the first 2 years of life should lead to interventions focused on these groups. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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            Profiling glucosinolates and phenolics in vegetative and reproductive tissues of the multi-purpose trees Moringa oleifera L. (horseradish tree) and Moringa stenopetala L.

            Moringa species are important multi-purpose tropical crops, as human foods and for medicine and oil production. There has been no previous comprehensive analysis of the secondary metabolites in Moringa species. Tissues of M. oleifera from a wide variety of sources and M. stenopetala from a single source were analyzed for glucosinolates and phenolics (flavonoids, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and cinnamates). M. oleifera and M. stenopetala seeds only contained 4-(alpha-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate at high concentrations. Roots of M. oleifera and M. stenopetala had high concentrations of both 4-(alpha-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate and benzyl glucosinolate. Leaves from both species contained 4-(alpha-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate and three monoacetyl isomers of this glucosinolate. Only 4-(alpha-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate was detected in M. oleifera bark tissue. M. oleifera leaves contained quercetin-3-O-glucoside and quercetin-3-O-(6' '-malonyl-glucoside), and lower amounts of kaempferol-3-O-glucoside and kaempferol-3-O-(6' '-malonyl-glucoside). M. oleifera leaves also contained 3-caffeoylquinic acid and 5-caffeoylquinic acid. Leaves of M. stenopetala contained quercetin 3-O-rhamnoglucoside (rutin) and 5-caffeoylquinic acid. Neither proanthocyanidins nor anthocyanins were detected in any of the tissues of either species.
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              The worldwide magnitude of protein-energy malnutrition: an overview from the WHO Global Database on Child Growth.

              Using the WHO Global Database on Child Growth, which covers 87% of the total population of under-5-year-olds in developing countries, we describe the worldwide distribution of protein-energy malnutrition, based on nationally representative cross-sectional data gathered between 1980 and 1992 in 79 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. The findings confirm that more than a third of the world's children are affected. For all the indicators (wasting, stunting, and underweight) the most favourable situation--low or moderate prevalences--occurs in Latin America; in Asia most countries have high or very high prevalences; and in Africa a combination of both these circumstances is found. A total 80% of the children affected live in Asia--mainly in southern Asia--15% in Africa, and 5% in Latin America. Approximately, 43% of children (230 million) in developing countries are stunted. Efforts to accelerate significantly economic development will be unsuccessful until optimal child growth and development are ensured for the majority.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                26 July 2016
                2016
                : 11
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, Distrito Federal, Mexico
                [2 ]Department of Biological Sciences, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York, United States of America
                [3 ]The Graduate School and University Center-City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America
                [4 ]Cullman Chemoprotection Center, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
                [5 ]United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America
                [6 ]Biotechnology Laboratory, Kenya Forestry Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
                [7 ]Department of Forestry, Range, and Wildlife Management, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
                Estación Experimental del Zaidín (CSIC), SPAIN
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: MO RPS JWF MAG. Performed the experiments: MO RPS JWF MAG DO WN. Analyzed the data: MO RPS JWF. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: MO RPS JWF MAG DO WN. Wrote the paper: MO RPS JWF MAG DO WN. Fieldwork: MO DO WN.

                Article
                PONE-D-16-12385
                10.1371/journal.pone.0159782
                4961408
                27459315

                This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 4, Pages: 17
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: Trees for Life
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100006087, Dirección General Asuntos del Personal Académico, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México;
                Award ID: IT200515
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: lewis and dorothy Cullman Foundation
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: PSC Cuny
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100007917, Agricultural Research Service;
                Award ID: 58-6250-0-008
                Award Recipient :
                Trees for Life ( www.treesforlife.org) provided funding to MO to bring the plants studied to Mexico, to prepare the shadehouse, prepare the land, plant, and maintain the common garden. Trees for Life is a humanitarian NGO that uses moringa as a crucial low cost nutritional resource in poor dry tropical communities worldwide. They provided the authors with the mandate to learn about moringa protein to guide selection of the optimal variants for addressing protein malnutrition. The Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigación e Innovación Tecnológica ( http://dgapa.unam.mx/html/papiit/papit.html) of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México grant IT200515 has provided funds to MO for fieldwork and collection maintenance. The Lewis and Dorothy Cullman Foundation ( http://www.lewiscullman.com/) have provided funding to JWF for his research on glucosinolates and other compounds across the mustard oil plants. These funds helped make BCA measurements of protein possible. PSC at City University of New York ( http://www.psc-cuny.org/) provided some funds for reagents to RPS. Funding was also provided by the Agricultural Research Service (58-6250-0-008). Except for that mentioned for Trees for Life, the funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Plant Science
                Plant Anatomy
                Leaves
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Nutrition
                Nutrients
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Nutrition
                Nutrients
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Biochemistry
                Plant Biochemistry
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Plant Science
                Plant Biochemistry
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Elements
                Magnesium
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Elements
                Manganese
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Elements
                Molybdenum
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Mathematical and Statistical Techniques
                Statistical Methods
                Multivariate Analysis
                Principal Component Analysis
                Physical Sciences
                Mathematics
                Statistics (Mathematics)
                Statistical Methods
                Multivariate Analysis
                Principal Component Analysis
                Physical Sciences
                Chemistry
                Chemical Compounds
                Oxalates
                Custom metadata
                All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.

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