Benefits of eating persimmons, persimmons benefits, side effects
Revised on November 11, 2014

Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. Diospyros is in the
family Ebenaceae. The most widely cultivated species is the Asian persimmon, Diospyros kaki. [Wikipedia]

Nutrition facts of American Persimmons are summarized - 1 fruit (25 g) contains 32 calories, 0.1 g of fat (0 mg
of cholesterol), 0 mg of sodium, 78 mg of potassium, 8 g of carbohydrate, and 0.2 g of protein. [Google]
Then, 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. Since persimmon contains 0 mg of
sodium, but 78 mg of potassium, persimmon may offer benefits of blooding pressure control to people with
certain conditions. We'll discuss more about this. Without much evidence, persimmon is suggested for
hiccups, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, lung infections and asthma. Further, persimmon may benefit people at risk of
certain types of cancers. Its shibuol and betulinic acid may contribute its anti-cancer properties.

Persimmon Benefits

Are there scientific evidences for the health benefits of eating persimmons? Yes, there are some evidences.
For examples, researchers found a persimmon leave extract possesses
potent antioxidant and free radical
scavenging activities. [2] Thus, one can imagine persimmons may come with different kinds of health benefits.
Firstly, it was found that persimmons may offer benefits of blood pressure lowering and vasorelaxation effects
to certain users. In a study, oral administration of water-soluble proanthocyanidins extracted from persimmon
leaf tea led to a significant decrease in the systolic blood pressure of the rats after 4 h, as compared with
distilled water controls. Further,  a vasorelaxant effect on rat aortas induced by proanthocyanidins was
observed. 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]

Another potential health benefit associated with eating persimmons (or its extracts) is neuroprotection. In a
study, 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, it was found that 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]

Persimmon leaf extract may benefit users at risk of certain cancers, because 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]

Finally, water-soluble polysaccharide extracts from persimmon fruit shows immunomodulatory activity in vitro.
[5] Thus, eating persimmon may benefit users with certain immuno-conditions. However, most of the studies
done are non-clinical experiments, there are insufficient direct evidence to support the health claims of eating

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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