Phyto- and Bio-Chemical evaluation of Diospyros kaki L. cultivated in Egypt and its biological activities

Abstract Diospyros kaki L. or Costata cultivar is the main persimmon variety progressively consumed in the Egyptian market and exportation. The objective of this study was to investigate the bioprotective effects of the alcoholic extract of fruits as well as leaves of D. kaki using in-vivo rat models. Petroleum ether extracts of fruits and leaves were analytically characterized for saponifiable and unsaponifiable compounds by GC/MS. Main flavonoids were chromatographically isolated from 80% aqueous methanol extract of leaves. Chemical evaluation for fruits and leaves namely, content of moisture, ash, proteins, fatty acids, amino acids, fat and water soluble vitamins, minerals, carotenoids was carried out. Total antioxidant activity was determined by radical scavenging effects using DPPH assay. The effect on biochemical parameters and its biological activity were also performed. Results revealed the identification of the major compounds of saponifiable and unsaponifiable matters of fruits and leaves. Scopoletin, as well as, kaempferol, luteolin, rutin and apigenin 7-O-glucoside were isolated and identified. It showed that this plant can provide a good nutritional value and it is safe regarding the kidney and liver functions, good source that help in enhancing the antioxidant defense against free radicals. No abnormal effects were found in lipids profile on experimental animals and there were good results in the ratio of HDL and LDL cholesterol. Also, this plant can help in optimizing blood sugar, enhancing the level of blood haemoglobin. It is concluded that D. kaki displays a good source of nutrients and bioactive compounds that may contribute to its therapeutic benefits against the risk of disease complications.