The trendy superfood ‘red dates’ from Asia kill cancer cells in the lab, new research suggests.
Jujube fruits, which are known as red dates due to them looking similar to the Middle-Eastern staple, programme lung, breast and prostate cancer cells to commit suicide, a study published in the journal Food & Function found.
Red dates are thought to trigger cancer cell death by causing 'internal stress' in tumours, according to researchers from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The results occurred after cancer cells were exposed to jujube in the lab. It is therefore unclear if the fruit helps to prevent or treat the disease in humans.
Jujube fruits, which are used in Chinese medicine to treat insomnia, a loss of appetite and diarrhoea, are available in the UK for just £1.99 for a 40g bag.
The researchers exposed human lung, breast and prostate cancer cells to eight compounds found in jujube fruits.
Results suggest four of the compounds reduce the survival rate of these cells.
In addition, three red-date compounds trigger cancerous cells to kill themselves.
Internal stress caused by the compounds is thought to damage tumours' structures.
The researchers believe jujube extracts could be used in cancer treatments in traditional Chinese medicine.
They add, however, further research is required to determine how jujube fruit's compounds trigger cancer cell death.
Helen Wang, founder of Abakus Foods, previously told MailOnline: 'The Chinese saying goes "three jujube berries a day, keeps you young forever".
'It's not easy to find something that tastes good and is good for you at the same time.'