African mahogany found to display potent anticancer activities

An Australian study published in Pharmacognosy Journal revealed that the bark extract of the African mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) has potent anticancer and antimicrobial activities. These findings were determined based on how well the extracts inhibited microbial and cancer growth.

  • The African mahogany, which is endemic to countries in Central and Western Africa, is a tall evergreen tree with a history of traditional uses.
  • Practitioners of traditional medicine use the bark of African mahogany to come up with a decoction for treating skin diseases, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, jaundice, malaria, helminthic infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Bark extracts of African mahogany also have the potential use in lowering blood sugar levels, neutralizing free radicals, and preventing the growth of cancer cells. However, there are limited studies that actually verify these pharmacological activities.
  • The bark contains biological compounds like limonoids, khayanolides, and senagalene triterpenoids while the fruit is rich in angolensates. Moreover, some studies also identified the presence of dimeric proanthocyanidins.
  • Compounds similar to those present in African mahogany have antimicrobial and anticancer activities.
  • In this study, the researchers collected extracts from African mahogany bark and tested these against different bacteria including Acinetobacter baylyi, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Proteus vulgaris, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to determine antibacterial activity.
  • To assess anticancer activity, they tested the extracts against Caco-2 and HeLa cancer cell lines.

From these experiments, the researchers determined that bark extracts of African mahogany have potent antibacterial and anticancer activities. Moreover, these extracts were also observed to be non-toxic against healthy cells, indicating that they are safe for potential therapeutic use.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Rabadeaux C, Vallette L, Sirdaarta J, Davis C, Cock IE. AN EXAMINATION OF THE ANTIMICROBIAL AND ANTICANCER PROPERTIES OF KHAYA SENEGALENSIS (DESR.) A. JUSS. BARK EXTRACTS. Pharmacognosy Journal. May 2017;9(4). DOI:10.5530/pj.2017.4.82

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