A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS), have studied, for 20 years, the fruit of Randia Echinocarpa commonly known as “Papache” to demonstrate antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, anti-cancer and other activities that are commonly associate.
This fruit, according to the research that the doctor in plant biotechnology graduated from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav) in Irapuato, Guanajuato and currently responsible for the Public Health Research Unit “Dra. Kaethe Willms ”of the Faculty of Biological Chemical Sciences (FCQB), Francisco Delgado Vargas together with the group that makes up the Laboratory of Natural Products Chemistry and Dr. Rito Vega Aviña of the Culiacán School of Agronomy; It is traditionally used to treat diseases of the kidney, lung, circulatory, diabetes, cancer, malaria, peptic ulcers, among others.
“We started studying Papache in 1998 based on the properties it has considering its traditional uses. People have commonly used it to treat kidney disease, against cancer, against malaria; However, until that date the studies were very scarce, hence the interest in working with him, ”said Dr. Delgado Vargas.
Our country, he explained, occupies the fourth world place in plant biodiversity and Sinaloa has 3736 species of vascular plants so the population “has a great ethnopharmacological tradition that has not been reflected in the development of commercial crops of medicinal plants or of sustainable strategies for its use ”.
In this context and according to his theory, the sustainable use of biodiversity in Mexico and Sinaloa must be based on a careful selection of plants that allow local needs to be solved by addressing global problems, based on scientific evidence.
“Currently one of the main causes of morbidity in the world are chronic degenerative diseases or non-communicable diseases and, practically, all of them are associated with oxidative stress, precisely because of this it is always recommended to consume a good amount of antioxidant compounds, and this Fruit has a high antioxidant activity, ”he said.
As a result, this multidisciplinary team of university researchers enrolled their project in the 2008 call of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT), to verify that the “Papache” also has immunomodulatory and anti-cancer properties.
“If we demonstrate such a thing, it means that, in addition to helping against diabetes and cancer, this fruit should have the possibility of helping against many other diseases since, what we are going to demonstrate, it is capable of improving the functioning of the immune system in people, ”he noted.
Although the project has not been completed, the investigation of the fruit presents numerous advances and findings such as the one published in 2014, where they announced that it contains soluble melanins related to the protection of ultraviolet rays (UV), the inactivation of radicals and immunomodulation that has been wanted to demonstrate; in addition to presenting high values of phenolic and inhibitory activity of alpha-glucosidase.
“We have published countless articles, we have enough experience to work with this material and, we believe that, really, with sufficient support, with the appropriate synergies, we can land it on a project, a product or a process that can have an impact. in the health of man, as well as an economic impact for the benefit of the people who have less in Sinaloa, ”he said.
In turn, this project seeks to rescue the Randia Echinocarpa species from where Papache comes from, since there are currently few wild materials available in the Pacific region.
“In fact, another part that we are doing now, together with the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Regional Integral Development (CIIDIR) located in Guasave, which belongs to the National Polytechnic Institute, is to use biotechnology techniques to propagate plants and to produce the metabolites and compounds that have these materials, in the laboratory, that is, in reactors; so this is also an important aspect that we are doing in collaboration with them, ”he said.
Finally, Francisco Delgado shared that the project has survived thanks to federal support from CONACyT and institutional support provided by the Program for Strengthening Educational Quality (PFCE), formerly the Program for the Promotion and Support of Research Programs (PROFAPI), that the Autonomous University of Sinaloa promotes.
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