Physicochemical composition, antioxidant and anti-proliferative capacity of a lilly pilly (Syzygium paniculatum) extract

Quan V. Vuong, Sathira Hirun, Tiffany L.K. Chuen, Chloe D. Goldsmith, Michael C. Bowyer, Anita C. Chalmers, Phoebe A. Phillips, Christopher J. Scarlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Lilly pilly (LP) fruit (Syzygium paniculatum Gaertn.) is widely grown in eastern Australia and has been used as food by indigenous Australians. However, there is limited information on its bioactivity. This study investigated the physicochemical and antioxidant properties of the crude fruit extract, identified its bioactive compounds and also assessed its potential anti-proliferative effect on pancreatic cancer cells. Our data showed that the LP extract was water-soluble and possessed a total phenolic content of 96 mg of gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g, flavonoid levels of 52 mg catechin equivalents (CAE)/g, proanthocyanidin levels of 29 mg CAE/g. Several phenolic compounds such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin and epicatechin were identified in the LP extract with levels of 0.39, 2.35, 0.47 and 2.9 mg/g, respectively. Results from six different antioxidant assays revealed that the LP extract pocessed potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging capacity. Although antioxidant capacity of the extract was lower than that of vitamin E, vitamin C and BHT, it could be significantly improved if the extract was to be further purified. We also showed that the LP extract (200 μg/mL) significantly reduced the viability of MiaPaCa-2 and ASPC-1 pancreatic cancer cells to levels comparable to that of the chemotherapeutic agent gemcitabine. For this reason lilly pilly should be further investigated for its health promoting and potential anti-cancer benefits, particularly for pancreatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Herbal Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes


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