Oil palm phenolics as a bioactive ingredient in promoting cardiovascular health
Mahinda Abeywardena, Kalyana Sundram, Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi, Yew-Ai Tan

Some plant-based bioactives are known to possess multiple health benefits, and polyphenols represent the largest group of these. The presence of multifunctional (antioxidant, anti-lipid peroxidative and metal chelating) properties within the same molecule enables polyphenols to confer pleiotropism, akin to several therapeutic agents. With such emerging positive scientific evidence, novel polyphenols are actively being pursued by the food and supplement industries as a natural, safe and cost-effective means of delivering health benefits to consumers. Several naturally occurring polyphenol compounds (e.g. tea, grape, wine) have been shown to afford cardiovascular protection through their actions on the vasculature.
The palm oil industry is a global provider of several natural antioxidants. Palm carotenes rich in -carotenes, and palm vitamin E enriched in tocotrienols reside in the fruit mesocarp, and are recovered from extracted crude palm oil. In addition, a novel water-soluble antioxidant complex enriched in polyphenols (oil palm phenolics; OPP) has been isolated from the large aqueous biomass generated during the milling process. In the present study we evaluated the potential cardiovascular outcomes of OPP via a series of in vitro and in vivo studies following both acute administration and long-term feeding in rats.
OPP dose-dependently relaxed isolated blood vessel preparations, and lowered blood pressure (BP) in the nitric oxide deficient model of hypertension as well as in the spontaneously hypertensive rat following acute administration. OPP afforded protection against cardiac arrhythmia following induction of myocardial ischemia by coronary artery ligation in a whole animal model of sudden cardiac death. The results thus implicate OPP as a potential bioactive ingredient effective in promoting cardiovascular health.
20 November, 2014
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