A couple weeks ago I blogged about a new study that found coffee many reduce the risk of skin cancer. Another round of research this past week revealed hibiscus leaf may help treat melanoma, the least common but the most fatal form of skin cancer. Previous studies have indicated an aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa leaves possess hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects. A new study published in The Journal of Food investigated the anticancer activity of hibiscus leaf polyphenolic extract in melanoma cells Science (Feb. 17, 2015).
Hibiscus leaf polyphenolic was first exhibited to be rich in epicatechin gallate (ECG), which is well-known in green tea, and other polyphenols. The researcher’s results revealed that the hibiscus leaf polyphenolic may serve as a chemotherapeutic agent to eliminate cancer cells without significant harmful effects on normal cells. However, as analyzed by trypan blue dye exclusion assay, these similarities suggested that HLP was capable of growth-inhibiting not only in A375 cells but also in other melanoma cells, B16F10, in a dose-dependent manner. They concluded the anticancer effect of hibiscus leaf polyphenolic , partly contributed by ECG, in A375 cells and that it could be developed as an anti-melanoma agent.
The ready-to-drink beverage market features a wide range of products, which includes both tea and coffee. Moreover, tea and coffee have shown tremendous growth in the RTD category. Hibiscus has been named an ingredient buzzword by Baum+Whiteman and many beverage formulators have seen a move toward botanicals/flowers like hibiscus for their health benefits.