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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 30;50(3):610-7.

Antioxidant and antimutagenic properties of aqueous extract of date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L. Arecaceae).

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait.


Fruits of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L. Arecaceae) are very commonly consumed in many parts of the world and are a vital component of the diet in most of the Arabian countries. This preliminary study documents for the first time its antioxidant and antimutagenic properties in vitro. There was a dose-dependent inhibition of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals by an aqueous extract of date fruit. The amount of fresh extract required to scavenge 50% of superoxide radicals was equivalent to 0.8 mg/mL of date fruit in the riboflavin photoreduction method. An extract of 2.2 mg/mL of date fruit was needed for 50% hydroxyl-radical-scavenging activity in the deoxyribose degradation method. Concentrations of 1.5 and 4.0 mg/mL completely inhibited superoxide and hydroxyl radicals, respectively. Aqueous date extract was also found to inhibit significantly the lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation in a dose-dependent manner. In an Fe(2+)/ascorbate system, an extract of 1.9 mg/mL of date fruit was needed for 50% inhibition of lipid peroxides. In a time course inhibition study of lipid peroxide, at a 2.0 mg/mL concentration of date extract, there was a complete inhibition of TBARS formation in the early stages of the incubation period that increased during later stages of the incubation. Similarly, in the high Fe(2+)/ascorbate induction system a concentration of 2.3 mg/mL inhibited carbonyl formation measured by DNPH reaction by 50%. Moreover, a concentration of 4.0 mg/mL completely inhibited lipid peroxide and protein carbonyl formation. Date fruit extract also produced a dose-dependent inhibition of benzo(a)pyrene-induced mutagenecity on Salmonella tester strains TA-98 and TA-100 with metabolic activation. Extract from 3.6 mg/plate and 4.3 mg/plate was found required for 50% inhibition of His+ revertant formation in TA-98 and TA-100, respectively. These results indicate that antioxidant and antimutagenic activity in date fruit is quite potent and implicates the presence of compounds with potent free-radical-scavenging activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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