Health Benefits of Extracts and Compounds from Osage Orange Fruits

Jim Crocker
7th July, 2024

Health Benefits of Extracts and Compounds from Osage Orange Fruits

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by the University of Lille, France, found that Osage orange fruits contain powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds
  • Key compounds, osajin and auriculasin, show significant anticancer properties by stopping tumor cell growth and spread
  • These compounds also inhibit enzymes linked to oxidative stress and inflammation, suggesting potential treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases
The Osage orange tree (Maclura pomifera (Raf.) C.K.Schneid.), primarily found in the southeastern United States, produces large, inedible fruits with notable pharmacological potential. Recent research conducted by the University of Lille, France, has revealed that extracts from these fruits contain potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, particularly the isoflavonoids pomiferin and auriculasin, along with other flavonoids and terpenoids[1]. This study focuses on the pharmacological properties and mechanisms of action of the prenylated isoflavones osajin and warangalone, as well as the catechol analogues pomiferin and auriculasin. The study identifies several key mechanisms through which these compounds exert their effects. Osajin and auriculasin have demonstrated significant anticancer properties by inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. These effects are attributed to their ability to complex with copper and bind to quadruplex DNA, which plays a crucial role in cancer cell regulation. Additionally, these compounds inhibit enzymes such as xanthine oxidase and phosphodiesterase 5A, and kinases like RKS2 and kRAS, which are involved in oxidative stress and inflammatory pathways. The findings of this study build upon previous research that has explored the biological properties of related species within the Maclura genus. For instance, extracts from the heartwood of Maclura cochinchinensis (Lour.) Corner have been shown to possess strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antileukemic activities[2]. The study indicated that compounds such as morin, resveratrol, and quercetin significantly reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, which are common pathways in various diseases, including cancer. Similarly, Maclura cochinchinensis heartwood extract demonstrated efficacy in reducing uric acid levels and downregulating inflammatory mediators, making it a potential natural treatment for gout and hyperuricemia[3]. The current study on Osage orange extracts provides a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying their pharmacological activities. By isolating and characterizing the major prenylated isoflavones, the researchers have highlighted their potential in treating cancer and inflammatory diseases. The inhibition of xanthine oxidase by these compounds is particularly noteworthy, as this enzyme is a well-known target for managing gout and hyperuricemia, conditions often associated with oxidative stress and inflammation[3]. Moreover, the study's findings align with previous observations on the adaptive responses of Maclura species to environmental stress. For example, Maclura pomifera has demonstrated resilience to drought stress by accumulating protective osmolytes like proline and mannitol, which aid in reducing oxidative damage[4]. This adaptive mechanism may also contribute to the plant's ability to produce potent antioxidant compounds, further supporting its pharmacological potential. In conclusion, the research conducted by the University of Lille underscores the untapped potential of Osage orange fruits in various biomedical applications. The identification of osajin and auriculasin as key bioactive compounds opens new avenues for developing natural therapies for cancer and inflammatory diseases. By elucidating the mechanisms of action of these prenylated isoflavones, the study provides a solid foundation for future research and exploitation of Osage orange extracts in medicine and other industries.



Main Study

1) Pharmacological properties of extracts and prenylated isoflavonoids from the fruits of Osage orange (Maclura pomifera (Raf.) C.K.Schneid.).

Published 4th July, 2024

Related Studies

2) Biological activities of extracts and compounds from Thai Kae-Lae (Maclura cochinchinensis (Lour.) Corner).

3) In vitro and in vivo evidence of hypouricemic and anti-inflammatory activities of Maclura cochinchinensis (Lour.) Corner heartwood extract.

4) Morphological, physiochemical and antioxidant responses of Maclura pomifera to drought stress.

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