Australian Scientific Breakthrough on the Purple Plum

By: Honor Tremain, Nutritionist

Could a purple plum from Queensland be the key to unlocking the obesity crisis, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and a host of other health disasters?

A groundbreaking discovery has been made recently in the science world, originating in Queensland. Professor Lindsay Brown of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and his world-class research team, The Metabolic Syndrome Research Team, with Dr. Sunil Panchal and Dr. Hemant Poudyal, discovered something extraordinary about purple foods, such as the purple plum.

Laboratory tests showed that when the Queen Garnet plum were introduced to test subjects who were fed a high saturated fat, high sugar diet, similar to our Western diet, and trying to mimic metabolic syndrome, weight loss and much more occurred.

But not only did weight loss occur, both foods had the startling ability to lower a wide range of related health disorders in the subjects: "when the purple Queen Garnet plums were ingested, even in the presence of eating a high fat, high sugar diet, weight loss occurred. Not only that, but heart health improved, liver function and architecture were normalised, blood pressure returned to normal, and glucose was taken up normally by the body once more", stated Prof. Brown.

Professor Brown, Dr. Panchal and Mr. Maharshi Bhaswant worked together with local growers and the Queensland Government to test this Queen Garnet Plum, possibly the next "super food". The plum was developed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and grown at Warroo Orchard in southern Queensland.

Why purple foods?

They contain anthocyanin's, powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, which also give the foods their purple colour Anthocyanins work by theoretically blocking NF-kB, one of the main factors responsible for the progression of the inflammation underpinning most modern diseases, including obesity. "Anthocyanins are very effective anti-inflammatory agents and obesity is a chronic, low intensity inflammatory disorder"
states Prof. Brown.

"The results are amazingly positive," says Prof Brown.
 The Queen Garnet plum has up to five times the levels of anthocyanins present than normal plums. The Professor says the work has the potential to provide great benefits to the people in this region, increasing the value of the agricultural products. 

"It's great for our regional university to be involved in this collaborative project."

Professor Brown and his team have been presenting these findings, and had their work published in respected journals all over the world.

The lowdown on plums

Plums are a great source of vitamin C and also provide vitamin K and fibre. There are over 200 different varieties of plums grown in Australia, but you'll often see Japanese and European types in store as well. Japanese varieties are grown more extensively in Australia than European plums and usually have larger fruit with predominantly red skin. European plums, also grown in Australia tend to be smaller and their skin colour can range from yellowy green, to deep blue or purple. Most of them have a sweet yellow flesh, unlike the blood plums that introduce the season which are quite sour and are best suited in cooking. The d'Agen plum, known as the 'prune plum' is ideal for drying because of its high sugar content, and most prunes are made from this variety.

Some newer varieties have a pinky red flesh with red to purple and black skin. These have a sweet juicy flesh and low acid skin. What's particularly interesting about plums is that, just like human fingerprints, each stone is unique to a particular variety.

The sweetest eating plums are those with little white speckles over the skin as this indicates the presence of natural sugar.

Select fruit where the skin is intact with no signs of wrinkling. Brown patches are a sign of sunburn which can also affect the quality of the fruit.

Plums are picked when they are nearly ripe and will ripen at room temperature over a few days. You can test for ripeness when the fruit gives to gentle pressure. A ripe plum will also have a fragrant aroma. Generally the fruit will become dull once ready to eat. Once ripe they can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Plums are in season from November to May.

About Honor:
Honor Tremain is a qualified Nutritionist and has worked in the health field for over 20 years. She has been a supervisor and lecturer at Nature Care College in NSW, has had her own successful practices in Sydney and Queensland, and has been a writer for the last six years. You can find more articles and information on her Facebook page Honor Tremain Thriving Nutrition


Feb 15 2015 12:39PM
I would love to be involved in human trials of this experiment.

Who do I need to contact?
Comment by: Cheryl
Feb 16 2015 10:03AM
I would also love to hear about these trials and would like to know who to contact
Comment by: Sally
Feb 16 2015 7:22PM
I have just had blood test to show changes in liver function due to weight and alcohol and would like to participate in a trail.
Comment by: Christine
Feb 17 2015 6:02PM
I have high blood pressure and have side effects from pharmacy medications. I would be happy to participate in a trial.
Comment by: Peter
Feb 21 2015 2:45PM
I am interested in being a part of the trials. I am overweight with several health issues. Who can I contact?
Comment by: Laura
Feb 22 2015 9:56AM
I am female 60y/o have cardio vascular disease, high BP, type 2 diabetes , high chol all of which are managed well with meds/ diet and exercise and would love to be a part of this trial.
Comment by: Kris
Mar 10 2015 8:10PM
I also would like to be in the human trials as I am overweight and can't walk very far because of my weight.
Comment by: Tanjil
Apr 5 2015 1:59PM
I am a male 77 years old have high BP and also high Chol am on meds diet and go to the Gym four or five times a week weight is 110 KG i NEED TO LOOSE WEIGHT, so would be very pleased to bo part of the trial
Comment by: Keith
Apr 26 2015 4:04PM
I have a friend who is an x pro golfer and who is 200 kg and can barely get about. He needs this now to give him hope... He is swimming and trying to loose but this would boost his progress.
Comment by: Doug
Oct 15 2015 2:50PM
I would like to be part of a trial please. I have very high BP.
Comment by: Joan
Gayle Warneke
Jan 25 2016 10:59AM
I am 65 and would like very much to be considered to undertake the Queen Garner Plum human testing. My sister-in-law Jan Holmes would also be interested. We can travel anywhere in Queensland to partake in any trials.
Comment by: Gayle Warneke
Jan Holmes
Jan 25 2016 11:01AM
I would like to be considered for any human trials on Queen Garner Plums. My sister-in-law Gayle Warneje us also eager to be considered.
Comment by: Jan Holmes
Feb 11 2016 11:39AM
I am so struggling just now with my eating and need some help please consider me. In my 60's and concerned about my health.
Comment by: helen
Mar 3 2016 11:24PM
You can already buy this plum already at Woolworths and fruit shops. It sells out quickly so you may have to go to a few. Just ask for the Queen Garnet plum. The trials will take a while to get going plus you only have 50% chance of getting the actual plum.
Comment by: Jenny
Mar 12 2016 5:57PM
I too would be interested in joining the trial.
Comment by: Judy
Jan 2 2017 10:31AM
Yeah man I wont in on any trials,I have diabetes,heart disease,high blood pressure, osteo Arthritis high cholesterol and cirrhosis of the liver.
Comment by: Doug
May 20 2017 9:18PM
I would also love to become involved in any trials re this plum .
Comment by: di

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latest comments

di on Australian Scientific Breakthrough on the Purple Plum :
I would also love to become involved in any trials re t... »
Doug on Australian Scientific Breakthrough on the Purple Plum :
Yeah man I wont in on any trials,I have diabetes,heart ... »
Judy on Australian Scientific Breakthrough on the Purple Plum :
I too would be interested in joining the trial.... »
Jenny on Australian Scientific Breakthrough on the Purple Plum :
You can already buy this plum already at Woolworths and... »
helen on Australian Scientific Breakthrough on the Purple Plum :
I am so struggling just now with my eating and need som... »
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