Tandem Project

Bioactive Properties of Dates

Laboratory Study

Over the past ten years, the Gulf countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – have increasingly highlighted dates as a vital element of Arab cultural heritage and a versatile local resource for sustenance, income generation and medicinal use. Linking traditional and regenerative medicine at the crossroads of chemistry and health sciences, AGYA members Mohamed Alhamdani and Amro Babiker Eltayeb together with AGYA alumnus Younis Baqi conduct the project ‘Investigating the Bioactive Properties of Natural Products of GCC Origin’, in which they analyse the medical potential of dates for fighting cancer.

Quick Facts about Dates

  • Date berries contain barely fat and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

  • Dates are dietary fibres and high in calories. They can be used as a healthy alternative to processed sugar.

  • The date palm tree Phonenix dactylifera L. has been cultivated in the Mesopotamia region for over 5,000 years, spreading over the centuries to Northern Africa, the Arabican Peninsula, the Indian subcontinent and the United States. 

The fruit of the date palm possesses high nutritional and therapeutic value, with a significant amount of antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiproliferative properties.

Younis Baqi

Among antiproliferative properties are antioxidants that can react with and neutralize ‘free radicals’, thus preventing them from causing damage and diseases such as cancer. Going forward, Baqi hopes to explore the use of dates in other areas of medicine as well as in the development of diverse natural health products. ‘Dates are berries and considered a superfood with many possible nutritional, commercial and medicinal uses. Therefore, cross-cutting research is essential to unlocking their incredible potential’, he says.