Most people have recently found an increased interest in alternative medicines for cancer treatment, thanks to rising mortality rates and adverse side effects following chemotherapy and radiotherapy. An alternative believed to possess anti-cancer properties are ajwa dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.). In a study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ajwa date extracts were found to preserve liver function in cancer patients.
Researchers at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia looked at the anti-cancer effects and other beneficial properties of ajwa dates in a rat model of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) induced liver cancer. Thirty-two male mice were used in the study, where they were randomly assigned into four groups: the untreated control group; DEN control group; DEN with 0.5 grams per kilogram (g/kg) body weight; and DEN with 1 g/kg body weight. Then, they evaluated liver cancer progression or inhibition in mice.
From the results, researchers observed partial to complete restoration of normal liver structure in both mice groups treated with the ajwa date extracts. The treated group also exhibited an increase in antioxidant enzymes while liver enzymes, such as alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase levels, and lipid peroxidation were reduced.
The ajwa date extract increased the anti-tumor cytokines and significantly reduced tumors in mice. According to the researchers, these benefits could be due to the presence of flavonoids, including luteolin, apigenin, quercetin, and proanthocyanidins, which contain many polyphenolic compounds.
The findings of the study suggested that after the treatment of ajwa date extracts, the antioxidant enzymes, liver enzymes, cytokine balance, and gene expression were restored to normal levels. Following the study results, the researchers concluded that ajwa date extracts improved liver function and prevented the progression of liver cancer.
Other health benefits of dates
The date palm, grown in various tropical regions in the world, is widely known for its eponymous fruits. Dates are chewy and sweet in taste, and are usually eaten and sold either fresh or dried. Fresh dates have a smooth skin, are typically small in size, and vary in color from bright red to bright yellow, depending on the variety. Unlike fresh dates, dried dates have wrinkly skin. Moreover, they are nutritious and provides various health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of eating dates:
- Dates are healthy because they are free from cholesterol and only contain low amounts of fat, helping in cholesterol levels maintenance and losing weight.
- Dates are rich in vitamins, such as B-vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5, and vitamins A and C.
- The vitamin C and D that dates contain maintain skin’s elasticity and keep it smooth. Dates also contain anti-aging properties.
- Dates can help build muscle and keep them strong as they are rich in protein.
- Dates support bone health because they contain high amounts of selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Eating dates help keep the bones healthy and prevent bone problems like osteoporosis.
- Dates enhance the nervous system as they are packed with potassium, which helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of stroke.
- Dates provide iron, which can help in blood purification.
- Dates aid in digestion and help treat constipation.
- Dates can also reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, without the toxic drug side effects.
Read more news stories and studies on natural anti-cancer cures like ajwa dates by going to AntiCancer.news.