Tunisian date seeds found to have powerful bioactive compounds that fight off oxidative stress

Researchers have found a new use for the seeds of the Tunisian date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which are usually discarded during processing. They reported that date seeds can be used as an inexpensive source of natural compounds that prevent oxidative stress. The study, performed by the Institut Superieur de Biotechnologie de Monastir, was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • Natural antioxidants exert many beneficial effects on human health. In particular, polyphenols prevent oxidative stress linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammation.
  • An earlier study showed that the seeds of Tunisian dates contain numerous bioactive compounds such as antioxidants. However, most such seeds are thrown away every year.
  • Water, methanol, absolute acetone, and aqueous acetone solvents were used to create extracts from Tunisian date seeds. Each method was analyzed for its effect on the phytochemical levels and beneficial properties of the resulting antioxidant extract.
  • The polar solvent extracted the largest amount of bioactive compounds from the seeds. It also showed the strong effects on hyperglycemia inhibition, inflammation, and thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS). It also showed the best capability at scavenging free radicals.
  • The effectiveness of the polar solvent extract was attributed to the correlation between polyphenol compounds and the antioxidants in the extract.

Based on their findings, the researchers believe that impoverished countries in the region will be able to use Tunisian date seeds as a cheap source of antioxidants to improve the health of their citizens.

Find the full text at this link.

You can read more about the health benefits of antioxidant-rich foods at NaturalMedicine.news.

Journal Reference:

Thouri A, Chahdoura H, Arem AE, Hichri AO, Hassin RB, Achour L. EFFECT OF SOLVENTS EXTRACTION ON PHYTOCHEMICAL COMPONENTS AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES OF TUNISIAN DATE SEEDS (VAR. KORKOBBI AND ARECHTI). BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1751-y.

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