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Gumamela contains ingredients potential in preventing cancer, study

Gumamela is not just a blossom of beauty but a possible ingredient for good health.

A study conducted by Davao Medical School Foundation revealed that Gumamela flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensisis) contains ingredients that maybe used to prevent cancer, by inhibiting mutation of cancer cells in human body.

Cancer is a result of genetic mutation when our bodies exposed to carcinogens (cancer causing substances). A single abnormal cell will grow, leading to multiple mutations to form tumors. Tumor cells eventually invade and destroy normal cells.

In the laboratory experiments (Modified Ames Salmonella Assay), the researchers tested the anti-mutagenic properties or the ability to control mutation of gumamela flower extracts to the growth of mutant salmonella bacteria.  They compared effects to Mytomycin C, a standard mutagen (positive control) and mineral water as negative control.

Results showed that gumamela extracts significantly decreased the growth (mutation) of salmonella compare to Mytomycin C and mineral water. In fact, the study highlighted that even with the presence of mutagen (agent that promotes mutation), gumamela extracts have successfully halted the bacteria’s growth in most of the trials conducted.

According to the study, these effects maybe attributed to the active ingredients in gumamela such as flavanoids and proanthocyanins, the phytochemical components that act as powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Proanthocyanins trap hydroxyl, lipid peroxides and other damaging free radicals and stimulate cells to produce detoxifying enzymes. Meanwhile, flavanoid is one of the few free radical scavengers that protect the body against fat and water soluble free radicals.

With these findings, researchers claimed that gumamela is a potential natural resource that can prevent the development of cancer cell in human body.

The study was funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) through its Regional Research Fund in Region 11.