Okra is a nutritious vegetable with beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal system. More than 70% of Taiwanes okra is produced from Jia-Yi County. Jia-Yi students from Chia Hwa Senior High School of Jia-Yi City analyzed the antioxidant and anti-tumor properties of okra methanol extract. Results confirmed that okra methanol extract has good antioxidant effects and show characteristics of inhibition of colon cancer cell growth. The students were awarded with the Premium Award at the 56th High School (Yun-Lin and Jia-Yi area) Biological Science Fair. They will compete in the National Science Fair competition later this year. Awardees Si-Ru Chen and Si-Chen Chen who are siblings teamed up with Xiang-Wen Xue and were led by their teachers Teng-Wang Lin and Pei-Yi Wu. According to Si-Ru Chen and Si-Chen Chen, study results show okra is rich in vitamin A,B,C,E and beta-carotene, so it can be presumed that it has antioxidant effects. Current research has also shown okra to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. Teng-Wang Lin said that this study took 6 months and sought be help of Professor Jin-Yi Wu who provided colorectal cancer study data, equipment and consultation.
According to study results, okra methanol extract is rich in polyphenols. It can effectively neutralize iodine and potassium permanganate and can chelate iron ions and clear radicals. Study data show inhibition of colon cancer cell effects at 18ug/ml, effects are more prominent at increasing concentrations.