Exploring Date Seed Extract as a Triple-Threat Against Microbes and Viruses

Jim Crocker
12th May, 2024

Exploring Date Seed Extract as a Triple-Threat Against Microbes and Viruses

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a Suez Canal University study, date palm pit extracts showed potential as natural antimicrobial agents
  • The extracts were effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including inhibiting tough biofilms
  • These findings suggest date palm pit extracts could enhance health products and combat resistant infections
In recent years, the search for natural compounds with health benefits has intensified, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One focus of this research has been the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.), a plant with a rich history of medicinal use. In a study conducted by Suez Canal University, scientists have turned their attention to a less-heralded part of the date palm: its pits[1]. This study builds on previous findings that date palm fruits and their derivatives may hold the key to combating various health issues, including infectious diseases and cancer[2][3]. The study at Suez Canal University aimed to uncover the antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antiviral properties of extracts derived from date palm pits (PDPE). Researchers used a method known as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify the chemical constituents of PDPE. The analysis revealed the presence of several compounds, including phenols and acids, which are known for their antimicrobial properties. The antimicrobial efficacy of PDPE was tested against a range of pathogenic microorganisms. The results were promising, with inhibition zone diameters (IZDs) — the area around the substance where bacteria cannot grow — ranging from 10.0 to 35.0 mm. Notably, Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of infections, was highly susceptible to PDPE, with the largest IZD observed. In terms of antifungal activity, PDPE was found to be effective in preventing spore or conidia formation, which is a crucial step in the life cycle of fungi. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) — the lowest concentration of a substance that prevents visible growth of a bacterium — of PDPE was determined to be between 250 and 1000 µg/ml. The Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBC) — the lowest concentration of an antibacterial agent required to kill a particular bacterium — ranged from 500 to 1000 µg/ml, suggesting PDPE's potential as a bactericidal agent. The ability of PDPE to prevent biofilm formation, a common defense mechanism of bacteria that makes them more resistant to antibiotics, was also tested. PDPE showed high levels of biofilm inhibition, particularly against S. aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Escherichia coli, with percentages of inhibition of 98.59%, 94.12%, and 74.46% respectively. Furthermore, PDPE demonstrated antiviral activity with a non-toxic dose of 123.0 µg/ml being the highest that could be achieved without harming cells. This finding is especially relevant given the ongoing battle against viral infections, including COVID-19. The results of this study resonate with the findings of earlier research that highlighted the potential of date palm fruit in treating chronic diseases and improving overall health[2]. Additionally, the study aligns with research that has demonstrated the anticancer properties of date palm fruit extracts[3]. The antifibrotic and antiproliferative activities observed in pancreatic stellate cells suggest that date palm derivatives could be beneficial in cancer treatment by enhancing the efficacy of conventional anticancer drugs. Moreover, the study complements previous research on the incorporation of date palm pollen into functional foods, such as yogurt, which not only improved the food's texture and sensory characteristics but also added health-promoting properties[4]. This reinforces the idea that date palm derivatives can be integrated into everyday foods to enhance their nutritional value. In the realm of antimicrobial applications, the findings from the study at Suez Canal University also echo previous work on the synergistic potential of nanoparticles with antibiotics[5]. The use of natural compounds, such as PDPE, in conjunction with other antimicrobial agents, could pave the way for new treatments that are more effective against resistant strains of bacteria. In conclusion, the study from Suez Canal University has provided new insights into the potential uses of date palm pit extracts as a natural antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antiviral agent. These findings not only expand our understanding of the therapeutic uses of date palm derivatives but also suggest practical applications in the development of health-promoting products. The research underscores the importance of exploring all parts of medicinal plants, including their waste materials, in the quest for new treatments and preventive measures against a variety of diseases.

HealthBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and antiviral investigations using egyptian phoenix dactylifera L. pits extract.

Published 9th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Bioactivity and Pharmacological Potential of Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) Against Pandemic COVID-19: a Comprehensive Review.


3) Antifibrotic and tumor microenvironment modulating effect of date palm fruit (Phoenix dactylifera L.) extracts in pancreatic cancer.


4) Evaluation of date palm pollen (Phoenix dactylifera L.) encapsulation, impact on the nutritional and functional properties of fortified yoghurt.


5) Cefotaxime incorporated bimetallic silver-selenium nanoparticles: promising antimicrobial synergism, antibiofilm activity, and bacterial membrane leakage reaction mechanism.


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