Sains Malaysiana 47(11)(2018): 2713–2729


More Ulam for Your Brain: A Review on the Potential Role of Ulam in Protecting Against Cognitive Decline

(Lebihkan Ulam untuk Otak Anda: Suatu Kajian tentang Potensi Ulam dalam Lindungi Penyusutan Fungsi Kognitif)




1Dietetics Programme, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory, Malaysia


2Head of Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory, Malaysia


3Nutritional Sciences Programme, Centre for Healthy Ageing and Wellness (H-CARE), Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory, Malaysia


Diserahkan: 29 Mac 2018/Diterima: 5 Julai 2018



Ulam is the South East Asian traditional vegetables which contains high total phenolic content and exhibits antioxidant activity. Several studies have reported the potential of neuroprotective effect of ulam. The objective of this review article was to highlight the total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity of ulam and the roles of phenolic content that can contribute to attenuation of cognitive decline. The review includes randomized controlled trial and experimental studies from year 2007 to 2017. In this review, PRISMA method was used to report the results (n=15). Phenolic compounds, ie plants’ second metabolites of selected ulam in South East Asia were also discussed in this review, with respect to its potential for health promotion which and reducing the risk of cognitive disease. Oenanthe javanica (selom), Ocimum basilicum (daun selasih) and Anacardium occidentale L. (pucuk gajus) were ranked in the top three highest TPC among all the selected ulam. In general, Polygonum minus (kesum), Anacardium occidentale L. (pucuk gajus) and Cosmos caudatus (ulam raja) exhibited high DPPH radical scavenging activity whereas Anacardium occidentale L. (pucuk gajus) exhibited highest ferric ion reducing potential (FRAP) among all the selected ulam in South East Asia countries. Overall, some studies had shown Centella asiatica (pegaga), Oenanthe javanica (selom), Polygonum minus (kesum), Ocimum basilicum (daun selasih) and Murraya koenigii (daun kari) are beneficial in improving cognitive status and mood. The bioactive compounds in ulam may exhibit neuroprotective effects but human studies are still lacking in exploring the relationship between ulam consumption and cognitive status.


Keywords: Antioxidant; cognitive; mood; phenolic; ulam



Ulam merupakan sayuran tradisi Asia Tenggara yang mengandungi kandungan fenolik yang tinggi dan menunjukkan aktiviti antioksidan. Beberapa kajian melaporkan ulam berpotensi sebagai pelindung neuro. Objektif kertas ini adalah untuk membandingkan jumlah kandungan fenolik (TPC), aktiviti antioksidan ulam serta peranan kandungan fenolik yang mengelakkan penyusutan fungsi kognitif. Ulasan kertas ini meliputi ujian klinikal dan uji kaji dari tahun 2007 hingga 2017. Dalam ulasan ini, kaedah PRISMA digunakan untuk melaporkan keputusan (n=15). Sebatian fenolik, i.e. metabolit sekunder tumbuhan daripada beberapa ulam terpilih di Asia Tenggara juga dibincangkan dalam ulasan ini daripada segi potensinya dalam mempromosikan kesihatan dan mengelakkan penyusutan fungsi kognitif. Oenanthe javanica (selom), Ocimum basilicum (daun selasih) dan Anacardium occidentale L. (pucuk gajus) merupakan tiga TPC yang tertinggi dalam kalangan semua ulam terpilih. Secara umum, Polygonum minus (kesum), Anacardium occidentale L. (pucuk gajus) dan Cosmos caudatus (ulam raja) menunjukkan aktiviti pemotongan radikal DPPH yang tinggi manakala Anacardium occidentale L. (pucuk gajus) menunjukkan potensi penurunan ion ferik tertinggi dalam kalangan semua ulam yang terpilih di negara-negara Asia Tenggara. Secara keseluruhan, beberapa kajian telah menunjukkan Centella asiatica (pegaga), Oenanthe javanica (selom), Polygonum minus (kesum), Ocimum basilicum (daun selasih) dan Murraya koenigii (daun kari) bermanfaat dalam meningkatkan fungsi kognitif dan emosi. Sebatian bioaktif dalam ulam berpotensi memberi kesan sebagai pelindung neuro namun kajian manusia yang menerokai hubungan antara pengambilan ulam dengan status kognitif masih terhad.


Kata kunci: Antioksidan; emosi; fenolik; kognitif; ulam



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