Degenerative diseases have the highest death rates in both adolescents and the elderly. The most common degenerative diseases are stroke, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancer and joint diseases1. It was reported that free radicals are harmful to aging process. Free radicals causes’ oxidative stress on the vascular dysfunction disrupts the endothelial layers and causes cardiovascular disease2.
Free radicals are produced continuously during metabolic processes and participate mainly in immune response, metabolism of unsaturated fatty acids and inflammatory reaction. Free radical excess results in impairment of DNA, enzymes and cellular membranes and may be related to mutagenesis and aging processes3.
Oxidative stress occurs when reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced that exceed the ability of the antioxidant system to neutralize. This happens due to excessive intake of compounds like coffee which causes oxidative stress. It also happens from a decrease in the antioxidant defense, which may lead to damage of biological molecules and disruption of normal physiology and metabolism.4.
One way to improve body antioxidants is via the consumption of exogenous antioxidants obtained from plants5, such as date seeds. Date seeds are usually left unconsumed after being removed from the flesh, despite their high antioxidant content. Researchers carried out a new experiment which was focused on the initial product and tests the date seeds in powder form, which can be consumed like coffee. Therefore, the effects of treatment with date seed powder on the antioxidant status and oxidative damage were examined in pre-menopausal women6.
It was observed form the study results that date seed powder resulted in a significant decrease in the free radical product level (MDA), which was tested as an indicator of oxidative damage. The study indicated that free radicals caused oxidative damage. The oxidized normal molecule becomes unstable when it loses its electron and forms new free radicals.
Treatment with date seed powder can significantly enhance vitamin E oxidant i.e. tocopheryl content. It was also indicated that pre-menopausal women had lower enzymatic antioxidant (SOD and GPX) activity on average with date seed powder. High oxidant levels in foods, pollution and an unhealthy life style can cause a high free radical contents in the body, which results in a decrease in enzymatic antioxidants.
The implication from the above findings included that date seed powder can replace habitual coffee consumption. Date seed powder is healthier than coffee, particularly for pre-menopausal women and will decrease the free radical levels in the body. Further studies are needed to obtain a deeper understanding of the decreases in free radicals induced by different date seed varieties. The limitation of the current study is that the researchers only chose the best seeds of the deglet noor date, however, the use of deglet noor seeds should be selective, because the various deglet noor seeds have differences in their active substances.
- Diederichs, C., K. Berger and D.B. Bartels, 2011. The measurement of multiple chronic diseases-a systematic review on existing multimorbidity indices. J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci., 66: 301-311.
- Forman, H.J., 2016. Redox signaling: An evolution from free radicals to aging. Free Radic. Biol. Med., 97: 398-407.
- AbdEllah, M.R., 2012. Involvement of free radicals in parasitic infestations. J. Applied Anim. Res., 41: 69-76.
- Birben, E., U.M. Sahiner, C. Sackesen, S. Erzurum and O. Kalayci, 2012. Oxidative stress and antioxidant defense. World Allergy Organiz. J., 5: 9-19.
- Whayne, T.F., S.P. Saha and D. Mukherjee, 2016. Antioxidants in the practice of medicine; what should the clinician know? Cardiovasc. Hematol. Disord. Drug Targets, 16: 13-20.
- Saryono, E. R., A. Proverawati and D. Hisni, 2017. Effect of Antioxidant Status and Oxidative Stress Products in Pre-menopausal Women after Treatment with Date Seed Powder (Phoenix dactylifera L.): A Study on Women in Indonesia. Pak. J. Nutr., 16: 477-481.