Health-Promoting Properties of Three Varieties of Kacip Fatimah
Jaafar, H.Z.E., Ibrahim, M.H. and Karimi, E. 2012. Phenolics and flavonoids compounds, phenylanine ammonia lyase and antioxidant activity responses to elevated CO2 in Labisia pumila (Myrisinaceae). Molecules 17: 6331-6347.
Agains this backdrop, Jaafar et al. conducted a split plot 3 x 3 experiment that was designed to examine the impact of 15 weeks of exposure to three concentrations of CO2 (400, 800 and 1200 ppm) on the phenolic and flavonoid compound profiles - as well as the antioxidant activities - of three varieties (alata, pumila and lanceolata) of Labisia pumila Benth. or kacip fatimah as it is commonly known throughout Southeast Asia, which they describe as "a sub-herbaceous plant with creeping stems from the family Myrsinaceae that is found widespread in Indochina and throughout the Malaysian forest," and which has historically been used to help maintain a healthy female reproductive system.
Among a wide variety of findings, the three Malaysian researchers report that when exposed to elevated CO2 (1200 ppm), "gallic acid increased tremendously, especially in var. alata and pumila (101-111%), whilst a large quercetin increase was noted in var. lanceolata (260%), followed closely by alata (201%)." They also indicate that "caffeic acid was enhanced tremendously in var. alata (338-1100%) and pumila (298-433%)," while "rutin continued to increase by 262% after CO2 enrichment." In addition, they found that naringenin was enhanced by 1100% in var. pumila. Last of all, they report that "the increase in production of plant secondary metabolites in L. pumila was followed by enhancement of the antioxidant activity under exposure of elevated CO2."
With respect to the implications of their several findings, Jaafar et al. say they point to "the possible improvement of [the] health-promoting quality of Malaysian L. pumila under high CO2 enrichment conditions."
Byers, T. and Guerrero, N. 1995. Epidemilogic evidence for vitamin C and vitamin E in cancer prevention. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 62: 1385-1392.
Chan, E.W.C., Lim, Y.Y., Wong, L.F., Lianto, F.S., Wong, S.K., Lim, K.K., Joe, C.E. and Lim, T.Y. 2008. Antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibition properties of leaves and rhizomes of ginger species. Food Chemistry 109: 477-483.
Chun, O.K., Kim, D.O. and Lee, C.Y 2003. Superoxide radical scavenging activity of the major polyphenols in fresh plums. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51: 8067-8072.
Harborne, J.B. and Williams, C.A. 2000. Advances in flavonoid research science. Phytochemistry 55: 481-504.
Heijnen, C.G., Haenen, G.R., Vanacker, F.A., Vijgh, W.J. and Bast, A. 2001. Flavonoids as peroxynitrite scavengers: the role of the hydroxyl groups. Toxicology In Vitro 15: 3-6.