An article published on Arab News:
A new research says it has found evidence that the Ajwa date from Madinah contains active elements useful in the prevention of diseases like cancer.
The research was carried out in Riyadh-based King Saud University (KSU) to discover the health benefits of Ajwa dates, which resulted in the finding that the fruit has anti-inflammatory properties similar to commercially available drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
The study found that the inhibition rate in Ajwa was equal to existing commercial anti-oxidant products available in the market. The research was published in the 61st issue of the US-based journal for agriculture and food chemistry, a KSU official said.
The official said that professor Muraleedharan Nair, head of the natural materials laboratory at the University of Michigan, conducted the research in collaboration with KSUs date palm research chair. A number of researchers from both the universities participated in the study.
Saleh A. Aldosari, the chairs supervisor, said the research was the first among a series of studies being conducted at the center to study the main types of dates found in Saudi Arabia. The research projects are supported by KSU as well as King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Kingdoms national plan for research projects.
King Saud University has adopted a policy of pursuing scientific leadership through its many scientific research chairs, which are sponsored by the universitys agency for graduate studies and scientific research.
The dark brown Ajwa date from the Madinah region of the Kingdom is known for its softness, dryness and high price in the Kingdoms date market.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also mentioned the benefits of the Ajwa, saying they prevent certain diseases.
According to health experts, Ajwa dates contain many flavonoid glycosides, which have anti-oxidant properties. Beyond the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, the sugar in Ajwa dates is only monosaccharaides, making the date beneficial for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Ajwa dates are also found to have a cyclo-oxygenase inhibitory effect that is similar to commercial anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, celebrex and naproxen.