African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 844

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of oil palm phenolics on tumor cells in vitro and in vivo

Shamala Devi Sekaran1*, Soon-Sen Leow1, Najwa Abobaker1, Kok Keng Tee1, Kalyana Sundram2, Ravigadevi Sambanthamurthi3 and Mohd Basri Wahid3
1Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC), 2nd Floor, Wisma Sawit, Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. 3Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), No. 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 June 2010
  •  Published: 31 August 2010


The effects of oil palm phenolics (OPP) on cell lines were demonstrated in this study. OPP dose-dependent studies in selected cell cultures showed that OPP inhibited the proliferation of mouse IgA-secreting myeloma (J558), estrogen-receptor-positive human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) and human lung carcinoma (A549) cells at all doses. However, OPP enhanced the proliferation of Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) and Aedes albopictus larvae (C6/36) cells at all concentrations, whereas, growth of Syrian Baby Hamster Kidney (BHK) cells was only enhanced with low doses of OPP. 5% OPP in combination with 5% fetal calf serum (FCS) was shown to be as effective as 10% FCS on the growth of BHK and A549 cells. In vivo studies using J558 myeloma cells showed that OPP caused tumor regression. These findings imply that OPP has anti-proliferative effects on tumor cells in vitro and in vivo, but conversely enhances the growth of normal cells.


Key words: Elaies guineensis, oil palm, phenolics, cancer, cell lines, apoptosis.