Kenyan study from Nnamdi Azikiwe University
African star apple prevents malaria in pregnant women

In a new study, researchers found that the pulp juice and seed of the African star apple contain chemical substances that possess both suppressive and curative properties for malaria. This could benefit many, especially pregnant women.

Pregnant women are at increased risk for malaria infection. Commonly, malaria causes anaemia in the mother and low birth weight in the unborn baby.

For the study, researchers evaluated the suppressive and curative antimalarial properties of extracts made from pulp juice and seed of African star apple in mice inoculated with Plasmodium berghei.

At a 500 mg/kg dose, the level of parasite control on Day 7 was 96.1 % for both seed and pulp extracts. In comparison, established medicine Artesunate produced an average percentage reduction of 98.64 % on Day 7.

The researchers declared: “The sampled plant parts can be used for treatment and prevention of malaria both in pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Traditional consumption of the pulp by pregnant women does not suggest any harm to the mothers or their babies."

However, was told further studies need to be carried out to harness the plant’s antimalarial property.

Publication date: 2/5/2018

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