If you are pregnant and go ahead to consume Moringa oleifera, you could end up with a deformed baby.

Fresh moringa is a rich source of vitamins, fibre, protein and calcium but consumption of the leaves during pregnancy could cause congenital deformities, according to a recent study published in the Italian Journal of Anatomy And Embryology.

The study, which was carried out by medical practitioners in the Departments of Anatomy and Surgery, University of Ibadan, used a total number of 20 pregnant rats of Wistar strain, News Agency if Nigeria reports.

Prof. Adefolarin Malomo, a Consultant Neurosurgeon, who conducted the study with other doctors, including Dr Foluso Atiba and Dr Innocent Imosemi, said that the study was entitled “Noxious effect of Moringa oleifera leave extract on the developing brain, morphology and behaviour of Wistar rat”.

The study warned that the consumption of Moringa oleifera otherwise known as “moringa” could affect the body, brain and cerebral of newborns.

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Maloma said that the pregnant rats used in the study were divided into two groups of 10 animals per group.

“Group one animals received distilled water and served as control animals, while group two animals received 200 mg/kg body weight of Moringa oleifera leave extract orally.

“All the animals were provided with rat cubes and water and libitum during pregnancy and lactation.

“After birth, some congenital malformations such as meromelia, phocomelia and amelia were observed in the pups of Moringa oleifera group only.

“The behaviour of the rats was significantly worse in the Moringa oleifera group, especially in the area of motor function,” he said.

“This study suggests that M. Oleifera may be embryotoxic as well as teratogenic in animals,” he said.

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