A Scientometric Analysis of Studies on the Effects of the Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) Fruit on Human Health
Background/Aims: Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, is mentioned 27 times in the Holy Quran and is considered a prophetic food. Islamic scripture together with Jewish and Christian holy texts refers to date palm fruit as having many beneficial effects on health including medicinal properties. This study aims to characterize scientific studies on date palm fruit relating to human health in published scientific literature. Methods: Five major scientific databases of published literature were searched for papers relating to the effects of date palm on human health. A scientometric analysis was then performed on the studies obtained. Results: Analysis of 270 relevant papers revealed a lack of human subject studies despite numerous papers reporting beneficial nutritional properties and promising results from animal studies. Saudi Arabia leads global research output on this topic. Conclusion: Further research should be supported to advance knowledge useful to local populations, especially in Islamic countries where the widely accessible date palm fruit can confer many potential health benefits.