Benefits of eating persimmons, persimmons benefits, side effects
September 08, 2011

Persimmons origins go back to ancient China. Fate intervened in the 1880Â’s when a United States
Commander brought back a native Japanese persimmon variety to Washington, D.C. Now, persimmons are
grown in California where hundreds of different varieties flourish.

What are the health benefits of eating persimmons?
The health benefits of this bright orange colored fruits  are highly related to their rich contents of fibers,  
vitamins A and C. Researchers from Israel found that the contents of total, soluble, and insoluble dietary
fibers, total phenols, epicatechin, gallic and p-coumaric acids, some minerals in persimmons are significantly
higher than in apples.

Various website writers suggest that persimmon is used for hiccups, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, lung infections
and asthma. It is also believed the persimmon may benefit people at risk of certain types of cancers, as it is
high in vitamin A. Its shibuol and betulinic acid are believed to contribute its anti-cancer properties.

What are the potential health benefits of eating persimmons -- based on scientific evidence

Persimmon leaves are commonly consumed as beverages. Researchers found a persimmon leave extract
possess potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities. [2]

Persimmons benefits - blood pressure lowering and vasorelaxant effects
The antihypertensive and vasorelaxant effects of water-soluble proanthocyanidins, extracted in persimmon
leaf tea, were used in a study. Oral administration of these proanthocyanidins significantly decreased the
systolic blood pressure of the rats after 4 h, as compared with distilled water controls. A vasorelaxant effect
on rat aortas was induced by proanthocyanidins. The antihypertensive effect of proanthocyanidins in
persimmon leaf tea is found to be related its vasorelaxation via an endothelium-dependent nitric oxide/cGMP
pathway. [1]

Persimmons benefits - neuroprotection
Mice were subcutaneously injected with d-galactose (D-gal, 150 mg/kg per day) for 6 weeks and were
administered high molecular weight persimmon condensed tannin (HMWPT) simultaneously. After 6 weeks of
treatment, the animal behavior was observed. The results indicated that high molecular weight persimmon
condensed tannin markedly inhibited the d-gal induced learning and memory impairment in both open field
test and Morris water maze. Further, high molecular weight persimmon condensed tannin was found to
attenuate the neuronal degeneration and karyopycnosis in cells in the hippocampus and decrease of
thickness of skin epidermis and dermis. [3]

Persimmons benefits - chemotherapy
Persimmon leaf extract contained flavonols with the 2″-galloly moiety (PLEg). Treatment with PLE and PLEg
significantly increased the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin (DOX) in A549 adenocarcinoma cells. The study
concluded that PLEg might be a useful sensitizer in cancer chemotherapy. [4]

Persimmons benefits - immunomodulatory effects
Water-soluble polysaccharides extracted from persimmon fruit shows immunomodulatory activity in vitro. [5]

Note: Scientific evidence for supporting the claims of persimmon benefits is insufficient, clinical studies are
needed to confirm the animal / in vitro results.

Persimmon side effects
WedMd says (September 08, 2011) there isn't enough information available to know if Japanese persimmon
is safe for medicinal use. While, persimmon may cause allergy.

[1] Kawakami K, Aketa S, Sakai H, Watanabe Y, Nishida H, Hirayama M. Antihypertensive and vasorelaxant
effects of water-soluble proanthocyanidins from persimmon leaf tea in spontaneously hypertensive rats.  
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.
2011 Aug 23;75(8):1435-9. [2] Sun L, Zhang J, Lu X, Zhang L, Zhang Y.
Evaluation to the antioxidant activity of total flavonoids extract from persimmon (Diospyros kaki L.) leaves.
Food Chem Toxicol.
2011 Oct;49(10):2689-96. [3] Tian Y, Zou B, Yang L, Xu SF, Yang J, Yao P, Li CM. High
molecular weight persimmon tannin ameliorates cognition deficits and attenuates oxidative damage in
senescent mice induced by D-galactose. Food Chem Toxicol.
2011 Aug;49(8):1728-36. [4] Kawakami K,
Nishida H, Tatewaki N, Nakajima Y, Konishi T, Hirayama M. Persimmon leaf extract inhibits the ATM activity
during DNA damage response induced by Doxorubicin in A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells. Biosci Biotechnol
Biochem. 2011;75(4):650-5. [5] Zhang Y, Lu X, Zhang Y, Qin L, Zhang J. Sulfated modification and
immunomodulatory activity of water-soluble polysaccharides derived from fresh Chinese persimmon fruit. Int
J Biol Macromol. 2010 Jan 1;46(1):67-71
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