Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera): Novel Findings and Future Directions for Food and Drug Discovery

Author(s): Ali H. El-Far*, Babatunji E. Oyinloye, Masood Sepehrimanesh, Mahmoud A. Gab Allah, Ibrahim Abu-Reidah, Hazem M. Shaheen, Iman Razeghian-Jahromi, Abd el-wahab A. Alsenosy, Ahmed E. Noreldin, Soad K. Al Jaouni, Shaker A. Mousa*.

Journal Name: Current Drug Discovery Technologies

Volume 16 , Issue 1 , 2019

Submit Manuscript
Submit Proposal

Graphical Abstract:


Phoenix dactylifera is a useful traditional medicinal plant, mainly the fruit is used, which is the edible part of the plant (Ajwa date). It is now considered to be a valuable source of natural medicinal products against various diseases. Phytochemical investigations have shown that the fruit contains anthocyanins, phenolics, sterols, carotenoids, and flavonoids. The fruits are a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and proteins. P. dactylifera is considered as a complete diet because it also contains different fatty acids, amino acids, proteins, and steroidal substances. This review highlights the phytochemical composition, nutritional significance, and potential health benefits of P. dactylifera and discusses its potential as a functional food for disease prevention, management, and treatment.

Keywords: Phoenix dactylifera, biological activities, phytochemicals, future directions, drug discovery, medicinal plant.

Ekor M. The growing use of herbal medicines: issues relating to adverse reactions and challenges in monitoring safety. Front Pharmacol 2014; 4: 177.
Yadav K, Kadam P, Patel J, Patil M. Strychnos potatorum: Phytochemical and pharmacological review. Pharmacogn Rev 2014; 8(15): 61-6.
Sirisena S, Ng K, Ajlouni S. The emerging Australian date palm industry: Date fruit nutritional and bioactive compounds and valuable processing by-products. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 2015; 14(6): 813-23.
Copley MS, Rose PJ, Clapham A, Edwards DN, Horton MC, Evershed RP. Detection of palm fruit lipids in archaeological pottery from Qasr Ibrim, Egyptian Nubia. Proc Biol Sci 2001; 268(1467): 593-7.
Baliga MS, Baliga BRV, Kandathil SM, Bhat HP, Vayalil PK. A review of the chemistry and pharmacology of the date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera L.). Food Res Int 2011; 44(7): 1812-22.
El-Far AH, Shaheen HM, Abdel-Daim MM, Al Jaouni SK, Mousa SA. Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera): Protection and remedy food. Curr Tren in Nutra 2016; 1(29): 1-10.
El-Far AH, Ahmed HA, Shaheen HM. Dietary supplementation of Phoenix dactylifera seeds enhances performance, immune response, and antioxidant status in broilers. Oxid Med Cell Longev 2016; 2016: 9.
Al-Bukhari MI. The collection of authentic sayings of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), division 71 on medicine. In: Al-Bukhari S Hilal Yayinlari, Ankara: Turkey. 1976.
Siddiqui A. Sahih Muslim, Book 23: The Book of Drinks, Chapter 25: Excellence of the dates of Medina. Translator: Abd-al-Hamid Siddiqui, 2009.
Boukouada M, Yousfi M. Phytochemical study of date seeds lipids of three fruits (Phoenix dactylifera L) produced in Ouargla region. Annales de la Faculté des Sciences et Sciemces de I’Ingénieur 2009; 1: 66-74.
Assirey EAR. Nutritional composition of fruit of 10 date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars grown in Saudi Arabia. J Taibah Univ Med Sci 2015; 9(1): 75-9.
Ali HS, Alhaj OA, Al-Khalifa AS, Bruckner H. Determination and stereochemistry of proteinogenic and non-proteinogenic amino acids in Saudi Arabian date fruits. Amino Acids 2014; 46(9): 2241-57.
Boudries H, Kefalas P, Hornero-Mendez D. Carotenoid composition of Algerian date varieties (Phoenix dactylifera) at different edible maturation stages. Food Chem 2007; 101(4): 1372-7.
Kchaou W, Abbès F, Attia H, Besbes S. In vitro antioxidant activities of three selected dates from tunisia (Phoenix dactylifera L.). J Chem 2014; 2014: 1-8.
Al-Rimawi F, Odeh I. Development and validation of an HPLC-UV method for determination of eight phenolic compounds in date palms. J AOAC Int 2015; 98(5): 1335-9.
Al-Farsi M, Alasalvar C, Morris A, Baron M, Shahidi F. Comparison of antioxidant activity, anthocyanins, carotenoids, and phenolics of three native fresh and sun-dried date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties grown in Oman. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53(19): 7592-9.
Benmeddour Z, Mehinagic E, Le Meurlay D, Louaileche H. Phenolic composition and antioxidant capacities of ten Algerian date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivars: A comparative study. J Funct Foods 2013; 5(1): 346-54.
Vayalil PK. Date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera Linn): An emerging medicinal food. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2012; 52(3): 249-71.
Blade C, Aragones G, Arola-Arnal A, et al. Proanthocyanidins in health and disease. Biofactors 2016; 42(1): 5-12.
Al-Shahib W, Marshall RJ. The fruit of the date palm: Its possible use as the best food for the future? Int J Food Sci Nutr 2003; 54(4): 247-59.
Ahmed I. Chemical composition of date varieties as influenced by the stage of ripening. Food Chem 1995; 54(3): 305-9.
Ismail B, Haffar I, Baalbaki R, Mechref Y, Henry J. Physico-chemical characteristics and total quality of five date varieties grown in the United Arab Emirates. ‎. Int J Food Sci Technol 2006; 41(8): 919-26.
AlHooti S, Sidhu JS, Qabazard H. Studies on the physiochemical characteristics of date fruits of five UAE cultivars at different stages of maturity. Arab Gulf J Sci Res 1995; 13(3): 553-69.
Adelekan DA, Thurnham DI. Glutathione peroxidase (EC and superoxide dismutase (EC activities in riboflavin-deficient rats infected with Plasmodium berghei malaria. Br J Nutr 1998; 79(3): 305-9.
Biglari F, AlKarkhi AFM, Easa AM. Antioxidant activity and phenolic content of various date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) fruits from Iran. Food Chem 2008; 107(4): 1636-41.
Hasan NS, Amom ZH, Nor AI, Mokhtarrud N, Mohd Esa N, Azlan A. Nutritional composition and in vitro evaluation of the antioxidant properties of various dates extracts (Phoenix Dactylifera l.) from libya. Asia J Clin Nutr 2010; 2(4): 208-14.
Samad M, Hashim S, Simarani K, Yaacob J. Antibacterial properties and effects of fruit chilling and extract storage on antioxidant activity, total phenolic and anthocyanin content of four date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) cultivars. Molecules 2016; 21(4): 419.
Abdelaziz DH, Ali SA. The protective effect of Phoenix dactylifera L. seeds against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2014; 155(1): 736-43.
Abdelaziz DH, Ali SA, Mostafa MM. Phoenix dactylifera seeds ameliorate early diabetic complications in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Pharm Biol 2015; 53(6): 792-9.
Al-Yahya M, Raish M, AlSaid MS, et al. ‘Ajwa’ dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) extract ameliorates isoproterenol-induced cardiomyopathy through downregulation of oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic molecules in rodent model. Phytomedicine 2016; 23(11): 1240-8.
El-Neweshy MS, El-Maddawy ZK, El-Sayed YS. Therapeutic effects of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) pollen extract on cadmium-induced testicular toxicity. Andrologia 2013; 45(6): 369-78.
Hoseinifar SH, Dadar M, Khalili M, Cerezuela R, Esteban MÁ. Effect of dietary supplementation of palm fruit extracts on the transcriptomes of growth, antioxidant enzyme and immune-related genes in common carp (Cyprinus carpio) fingerlings. Aquacult Res 2017; 48(7): 3684-92.
Sharifi M, Bashtani M, Naserian AA, Farhangfar H. The Effect of increasing levels of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) seed on the performance, ruminal fermentation, antioxidant status and milk fatty acid profile of Saanen dairy goats. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr 2017; 101(5): e332-41.
Eid N, Enani S, Walton G, et al. The impact of date palm fruits and their component polyphenols, on gut microbial ecology, bacterial metabolites and colon cancer cell proliferation. J Nutr Sci 2014; 3: e46.
Chakroun M, Khemakhem B, Mabrouk HB, et al. Evaluation of anti-diabetic and anti-tumoral activities of bioactive compounds from Phoenix dactylifera L’s leaf: in vitro and in vivo approach. Biomed Pharmacother 2016; 84: 415-22.
Khan F, Ahmed F, Pushparaj PN, et al. Ajwa Date (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Extract inhibits human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) cells in vitro by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. PLoS One 2016; 11(7): e0158963.
Mard SA, Jalalvand K, Jafarinejad M, Balochi H, Naseri MK. Evaluation of the antidiabetic and antilipaemic activities of the hydroalcoholic extract of Phoenix dactylifera palm leaves and its fractions in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Malays J Med Sci 2010; 17(4): 4-13.
Khan SA, Al Kiyumi AR. In vitro inhibitory effects on α-glucosidase and α-amylase level and antioxidant potential of seeds of Phoenix dactylifera L. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2016; 6(4): 322-9.
Hasan M, Mohieldein A. In Vivo Evaluation of anti diabetic, hypolipidemic, antioxidative activities of saudi date seed extract on streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. J Clin Diagn Res 2016; 10(3): FF06-12.
Ali Haimoud S, Allem R, Merouane A. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of widely consumed date palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L.) fruit varieties in Algerian oases. J Food Biochem 2016; 40(4): 463-71.
Abdennabi R, Bardaa S, Mehdi M, et al. Phoenix dactylifera L. sap enhances wound healing in Wistar rats: Phytochemical and histological assessment. Int J Biol Macromol 2016; 88: 443-50.
Al-Qarawi AA, Abdel-Rahman H, Ali BH, Mousa HM, El-Mougy SA. The ameliorative effect of dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on ethanol-induced gastric ulcer in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2005; 98(3): 313-7.
Zhang CR, Aldosari SA, Vidyasagar PS, Nair KM, Nair MG. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory assays confirm bioactive compounds in Ajwa date fruit. J Agric Food Chem 2013; 61(24): 5834-40.
Yasin B, El-Fawal H, Mousa S. Date (Phoenix dactylifera) polyphenolics and other bioactive compounds: A traditional islamic remedy’s potential in prevention of cell damage, cancer therapeutics and beyond. Int J Mol Sci 2015; 16(12): 30075-90.
Sani I, Bakar N, Rohin M, Suleiman I, Umar M, Mohamad N. Phoenix dactylifera linn as a potential novel anti-oxidant in treating major opioid toxicity. J Appl Pharm Sci 2015; 167-72.
Maryam UI, Simbak N, Umar A, et al. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of aqueous extract date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) fruit in rats. International journal of novel research in healthcare and nursing 2015; 2: 166-72.
Taleb H, Maddocks SE, Morris RK, Kanekanian AD. Chemical characterisation and the anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and antibacterial properties of date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.). J Ethnopharmacol 2016; 194: 457-68.
Elberry AA, Mufti ST, Al-Maghrabi JA, et al. Anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative activities of date palm pollen (Phoenix dactylifera) on experimentally-induced atypical prostatic hyperplasia in rats. J Inflamm 2011; 8(1): 40.
Abuharfeil NM, Sukhon SE, Msameh Y, Sallal A-KJ. Effect of Date Fruits, Phoenix Dactyliferia L., on the Hemolytic Activity of Streptolysin O. Pharm Biol 2008; 37(5): 335-9.
El Sohaimy S, Abdelwahab A, Brennan C, Aboul-enein A. Phenolic content, antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Egyptian date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits. Aust J Basic Appl Sci 2015; 9(1): 141-7.
Bouhlali ET, Bammou M, Sellam K, Benlyas M, Alem C, Filali-Zegzouti Y. Evaluation of antioxidant, antihemolytic and antibacterial potential of six Moroccan date fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) varieties. J King Saud Univ - Sci 2016; 28(2): 136- 42
Taleb H, Maddocks SE, Morris RK, Kanekanian AD. The antibacterial activity of date syrup polyphenols against S. aureus and E. coli. Front Microbiol 2016; 7: 198.
Al-Qarawi AA, Mousa HM, Ali BH, Abdel-Rahman H, El-Mougy SA. Protective effect of extracts from dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Int J Appl Res Vet Med 2004; 2(3): 176-80.
Bastway AM, Hasona NA, Selemain AH. Protective effects of extract from dates (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and ascorbic acid on thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Iran J Pharm Res 2008; 7(3): 193-201.
Kowalska DP, Feeley RM, Jones DP. Use of exogenous glutathione for metabolism of peroxidized methyl linoleate in rat small intestine. J Nutr 1990; 120: 1115-21.
Saafi EB, Louedi M, Elfeki A, et al. Protective effect of date palm fruit extract (Phoenix dactylifera L.) on dimethoate induced-oxidative stress in rat liver. Exp Toxicol Pathol 2011; 63(5): 433-41.
Ahmed AF, Al-Qahtani JH, Al-Yousef HM, et al. Proanthocyanidin-rich date seed extract protects against chemically induced hepatorenal toxicity. J Med Food 2015; 18(3): 280-9.
Al-Ghasham A, Ata HS, El-Deep S, Meki AR, Shehada S. Study of protective effect of date and Nigella sativa on aflatoxin b(1) toxicity. Int J Health Sci (Qassim) 2008; 2(2): 26-44.
Al-Qarawi AA, Abdel-Rahman H, Mousa HM, Ali BH, El-Mougy SA. Nephroprotective Action of Phoenix dactylifera. in Gentamicin-Induced Nephrotoxicity. Pharm Biol 2008; 46(4): 227-30.
Uttara B, Singh A, Zamboni P, Mahajan R. Oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases: A review of upstream and downstream antioxidant therapeutic options. Curr Neuropharmacol 2009; 7(1): 65-74.
Pujari RR, Vyawahare NS, Kagathara VG. Evaluation of antioxidant and neuroprotective effect of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) against bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in rats. Indian J Exp Biol 2011; 49(8): 627-33.
Pujari RR, Vyawahare NS, Thakurdesai PA. Neuroprotective and antioxidant role of Phoenix dactylifera in permanent bilateral common carotid occlusion in rats. J Acute Dis 2014; 3(2): 104-14.
Majid AS, Marzieh P, Shahriar D, Zahed SK, Pari KT. Neuroprotective effects of aqueous date fruit extract on focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Pak J Med Sci 2008; 24(5): 661-5.
Attah AF, O’Brien M, Koehbach J, et al. Uterine contractility of plants used to facilitate childbirth in Nigerian ethnomedicine. J Ethnopharmacol 2012; 143(1): 377-82.
Fallahi S, Rajaei M, Malekzadeh K, Kalantar SM. Would Phoenix Dactyflera Pollen (palm seed) be considered as a treatment agent against Males’ infertility? A systematic review. Electron Physician 2015; 7(8): 1590-6.
Tahvilzadeh M, Hajimahmoodi M, Rahimi R. The role of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) pollen in fertility. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med 2016; 21(4): 320-4.
Ali BH, Bashir AK, Alhadrami G. Reproductive hormonal status of rats treated with date pits. Food Chem 1999; 66(4): 437-41.
Ben Abdallah F, Dammak I, Mallek Z, Attia H, Hentati B, Ammar-Keskes L. Effects of date seed oil on testicular antioxidant enzymes and epididymal sperm characteristics in male mice. Andrologia 2009; 41(4): 229-34.
Mehraban F, Jafari M, Akbartabar Toori M, et al. Effects of date palm pollen (Phoenix dactylifera L.) and Astragalus ovinus on sperm parameters and sex hormones in adult male rats. Iran J Reprod Med 2014; 12(10): 705-12.
El-Kashlan AM, Nooh MM, Hassan WA, Rizk SM. Therapeutic potential of date palm pollen for testicular dysfunction induced by thyroid disorders in male rats. PLoS One 2015; 10(10): e0139493.
Braga FC, Serra CP, Júnior NSV, Oliveira AB, Côrtes SF, Lombardi JA. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition by Brazilian plants. Fitoterapia 2007; 78(5): 353-8.
He FJ, MacGregor GA. Beneficial effects of potassium on human health. Physiol Plant 2008; 133(4): 725-35.
Tang Z-X, Shi L-E, Aleid SM. Date fruit: chemical composition, nutritional and medicinal values, products. J Sci Food Agric 2013; 93(10): 2351-61.
Alsaif MA, Khan LK, Alhamdan AAH, et al. Effect of dates and gahwa (Arabian coffee) supplementation on lipids in hypercholesterolemic hamsters. Int J Pharmacol 2007; 3(2): 123-9.
Patel MD, Thompson PD. Phytosterols and vascular disease. Atherosclerosis 2006; 186(1): 12-9.
Ahmed S, Khan RA, Jamil S. Anti hyperlipidemic and hepatopro-tective effects of native date fruit variety “Aseel” (Phoenix dactylifera). Pak J Pharm Sci 2016; 29(6): 1945-50.
Auger C, Teissedre P-L, Gérain P, et al. Dietary wine phenolics catechin, quercetin, and resveratrol efficiently protect hypercholesterolemic hamsters against aortic fatty streak accumulation. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53(6): 2015-21.

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2019
Page: [2 - 10]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1570163815666180320111937

Article Metrics

PDF: 35
PRC: 1