The pickled plum has been reported to aid the digestive system, increase saliva, and even act as a cure for a hangover. It is a fruit of legend, with one tale recounting that Samurai soldiers, dying of thirst, ate the fruit to excite their salivary glands, and therefore avoided death. Consumers today rub bainiku-ekisu to the cheek or forehead in the belief it cures their tooth- and headaches.
The flesh of the plum produces an abstract know as bainiku-ekisu. This by-product is the grated, condensed flesh (or skin) of the fruit. A recent study reported that a fruit juice concentrate of Asian plum improves human blood fluidity and identified a bioactive substance in it as Mumefral, which is produced during the plum processing.
Two physiologists from Vanderbilt University and a collaborator from Wakayama University (Japan) have focused on mechanisms of bainiku-ekisu to prevent various diseases. In addition to the effect of bainiku-ekisu on blood fluidity, it may have a direct effect on the vasculature, and thereby improve cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and/or atherosclerosis. The scientific community has previously reported that the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor transactivation and subsequent extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK/MAP kinase) activation play central roles in signal transduction and gene expression of the AT1 receptor that leads to abnormal growth of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs).
A scientific hypothesis was recently developed asserting that bainiku-ekisu may prevent cardiovascular diseases by blocking
Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society