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. ‘The fruit of the date palm possesses high nutritional and therapeutic value, with a significant amount of antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiproliferative properties’, says Baqi. Among these, antioxidants, for example, 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 a superfood with many possible nutritional, commercial and medicinal uses. Therefore, cross-cutting research is essential to unlocking their incredible potential’, he says.

This is the ninth part of the project. So far, collected information about the date palm tree as well as preliminary results have been published in several articles.