The phytochemical diversity and product quality of shea butter present confounding factors to product standardization in research
Muoghalu et al, describe the anti-inflammatory activity of whole unrefined shea butter in an animal model. This study is important because shea butter extracts have promising characteristics for treating inflammatory disorders. However, the authors did not appropriately characterise the concentration of the specific bioactive compounds identified from their literature review prior to their in vivo studies. This lack of characterisation limits ability to extrapolate the important anti-inflammatory findings more broadly.
Muoghalu GU, Akah PA, Okoye TC, Ezenyi IC, Ibeneme S, Okoli CO. Anti-inflammatory activity of fatty extract of Vitalleria paradoxa Kernel (Shea butter) and pattern of its clinical use in arthritis in Enugu, South East Nigeria. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Jan 20;5(6):2345-51.
Maranz S, Wiesman Z. Influence of climate on the tocopherol content of shea butter. J Agr Food Chemist. 2004 May 19;52(10):2934-7.
Maranz S, Wiesman Z, Garti N. Phenolic constituents of shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) kernels. J Agr Food Chemist. 2003 Oct 8;51(21):6268-73.
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Di Vincenzo D, Maranz S, Serraiocco A, Vito R, Wiesman Z, Bianchi G. Regional variation in shea butter lipid and triterpene composition in four African countries. J Agr Food Chemist. 2005 Sep 21;53(19):7473-9.
Andersson, AC, Alander J. Shea Butter Extract for Bioactive Skin Care. Cosmetics & Toiletries Research. 2015;130(6):18-25.
Akihisa T, Kojima N, Kikuchi T, Yasukawa K, Tokuda H, Masters ET, et al. Anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects of triterpene cinnamates and acetates from shea fat. J Oleo Scienc. 2010;59(6):273-80.
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Munir SM, Umaru M, Abdulrahman Z, Mohammed IA, Aliy AM, Salihu Y. Extraction and Characterization of Nigeria Shea Butter Oil. Mathematics and Education. JOSTMED (8).2012;2:66-73.