Health Benefits of Peach, Nectarine and Plums Academic Article uri icon


  • Peaches, nectarines, and plums are the most important stone fruit in the world, but little is known about their effect on human health. Over 100 genotypes of peaches and plums of a range of flesh colors (white, yellow, red) were analyzed for their total phenolics, carotenoid, and anthocyanin contents and antioxidant activity. In general, the level of total phenolics was well correlated with the antioxidant activity. The levels changed dramatically among the stone fruit varieties examined indicating that varieties with improved levels of these phytochemicals could be developed. Selected plums and red fleshed peaches had equal or greater phenolics and antioxidant activity than blueberries. Antiproliferative assays with three breast cell lines indicated that peach and plum phytochemicals inhibited the cell proliferation for estrogen-receptor negative MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells but not the estrogen positive breast cancer MCF-7 line or the normal breast cell MCF-10A line. Proliferation studies with MBA-MD-435 cells and assays to measure the LDL oxidation inhibition activity with the extracts from 26 peach, nectarine and plum cultivars indicated a range of effectiveness. Although there is a strong correlation between total phenolic and antioxidant activity, there is no obvious linear relationship between either total phenolic content or total antioxidant activity with either bioactivity measured, suggesting that there are distinct mechanisms other than a reactive oxygen species scavenging mechanism that are responsible for these bioactivities.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Byrne, D. H., Noratto, G., Cisneros-Zevallos, L., Porter, W., & Vizzotto, M.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Byrne, DH||Noratto, G||Cisneros-Zevallos, L||Porter, W||Vizzotto, M

publication date

  • August 2009