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Posted April 18, 2022

Moringa Concern: Blood Clots

A 63-year-old woman in New York with type 2 diabetes developed a blood clot in the lungs (i.e. pulmonary embolism) that her physicians suspect may have been caused by the use of a supplement containing Moringa oleifera extract (Ebhohon, Int J Emerg Med 2022).

The patient developed low blood oxygen levels and symptoms including shortness of breath and chest pain over a three-day period after taking M. oleifera extract for five months. The clot was treated in the hospital, and her symptoms resolved. At discharge, her physicians prescribed use of blood thinning medication for three months to prevent further clots. Because she had no predisposing risk factors for pulmonary embolism, and preliminary research suggests that M. oleifera may promote blood clotting, her physicians also recommended that she discontinue the supplement.

M. oleifera leaf extract is a common ingredient in supplements promoted for improving metabolism or weight loss (such as Provitalize). Laboratory and animal studies suggest that M. oleifera may promote blood clotting and the formation of blood clots, and M. oleifera extracts at concentrations between 25% to 100% have been shown to shorten the time it takes for clots to form in human blood samples (as measured by a Prothrombin Time (PT) test) (Satish, Pharmacognosy Res 2012; Sander, IEEE Xplore 2021). However, there do not appear to be any other published reports of blood clots associated with the use M. oleifera extract supplements. Although preliminary studies in animals and people suggest it may have anti-inflammatory and blood-sugar lowering effects, studies on its effect on weight are lacking (Kou, Nutrients 2018).

Until more is known, people with a history of blood clots, or those taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or apixaban (Eliquis), should consult with a physician before using supplements containing M. oleifera extract.

For information about related products, see ConsumerLab’s answer to the question: Does Provitalize work for weight loss and is it safe?

See related recalls and warnings:

Fat-Burning, Energy Supplement Linked to Heart Trouble

Hormonal Balance Supplement Tied to Liver Failure

Adverse Effects From Energy Drinks Common Among Youth and Young Adults

Case of Hemorrhagic Stroke Linked to Redline Energy Drink