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Buah Merah and Papuan People (5): How safe Buah Merah is!

05/23/2013 14:18

Buah Merah and Papuan People

by Mathelda Kurniaty Roreng, S.TP, M.Si
and Toshiaki Nishigaki, Ph.D

Safety of Buah Merah

We speculate that Papuan people have been utilizing Buah Merah as the best source of fruit oil and micro-nutrients such as carotenoids and vitamin E until the present time for at least 30,000 years since they immigrated at the highlands of Papua, though they do not know what functional and active ingredients in Buah Merah are.

It can be said that their long time history and experiences of dietary use of Buah Merah can prove it very safe.

In addition to empirical reports, we investigated its safety as well as cooking and eating procedures on site in Baliem valley.
Each family plants several Buah Merah trees at the garden and/or vicinity of house and collect one ripen reddish fruit and cook and make Buah Merah Pasta as mentioned in the above.
Buah Merah trees have never been sprayed with pesticides and given synthetic fertilizers, but cultivated in purely natural way. One fruit was enough to serve for more than 10 persons’ meals.
Roughly computing, the individuals intake 10~20 g at one time in Buah Merah oil basis, as about 200 g of Buah Merah oil is collected from one fruit.
The Pasta is a mixture of cellular matrix including entire fruit components.
The fibrous layer underlying the flesh was penetrated with Buah Merah oil and the people took even this part.
We heard that nobody experienced carotenodermia and any other untoward events.

There are no reports on significantly higher-rated or abnormal adverse events associated with Buah Merah, according to Papuan native people and health authorities so far we investigated.

Buah Merah oil is extracted from cellular matrix of Buah Merah fruit.
Acute and sub-acute toxicity studies of Buah Merah oil were conducted using Sprague Dawley rats by oral administration according to OECD guidelines by M&K Laboratories Inc.

Acute toxicity was not found at 2 ml/kg bodyweight of Buah Merah oil.
In the sub-acute test, 0.1, 0.3 and 1 mL/kg bodyweight of the test substance were given to the rats for 28 days, but no untoward findings caused by the test substance were reported (10).
The mutagenicity study of Buah Merah oil disclosed no mutagenicity in base-pair substitution and frameshift types (11).

It is noticed that Buah Merah oil has been produced by paying most attention to hygiene, by considering the principles of international standards at the near site of Buah Merah cultivation areas, Wamena of Baliem valley. According to internal data of M&K Laboratories Inc., no pathogenic microorganisms are contaminated in Buah Merah oil.

The production method with possible modifications was applied for approval for patent by M&K Laboratories and CABI to Japan Patent Office in 2012.


CABI(Center for Agro-Based Industry), Bogor
Ministry of Industry, Indonesia

According to above-mentioned nutritional data, pro-vitamin A carotenoids are concerned in safety issues.

The Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University in USA well-summarizes the safety of carotenoids (12), showing that high dose of beta-carotene (up to 180 mg/day) have been used to treat erythropoietic protoporphyria without toxic side effects. 30 mg/day or more of beta-carotene supplements and the consumption of large amount of carotene-rich foods have resulted in a yellow discoloration of the skin (carotenodermia).
The risks of high-dose beta-carotene supplementation (20~30 mg/day) outweigh any potential benefits for chronic disease prevention, especially in smokers or other high-risk populations.
There is no reason to limit the consumption of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables during pregnancy.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid consuming more than 3 mg/day of beta-carotene from supplements.

University of Indonesia and Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia promise that Buah Merah oil dosage of 3 x 1 tablespoon per day (15 mL x 3 = 45 mL/day) is safe (12).

Safety of beta-cryptoxanthin has not been established, so far we examined. Beta-cryptoxanthin is naturally contained at contents of 3.6 mg and 0.4 mg per 1 cup (200 mL) in cooked pumpkin and fresh orange juice, respectively (12).

Buah Merah oil is comparable with natural fruit and its analysis results reveal that the contents of beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin are about 5 mg/100g (0.05 mg/g) each (13).
One (1) mL/kg of rat bodyweight/day (60 mL or 54 g/60 kg human bodyweight) in 28 days consecutive administration does not show any toxic side effects (10).
Preliminary pharmacokinetic study of Buah Merah capsule form of oil showed that beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin were relatively rapidly absorbed into blood of human subjects (14).

Wamena 11.3-5.09009

Making Buah Merah Pasta

Wamena 11.3-5.09010web

Lunch with Buah Merah source


Buah Merah sold at public market

From these facts and history of use of Buah Merah by Papuan people, we can conclude that Buah Merah oil is very safe and the dose of 10 g/day may not cause any side-effects in human.

In order to maintain health conditions and intake micronutrients, especially beta-cryptoxanthin from Buah Merah oil, it is recommended to receive 2 g/day in healthy persons, because average daily intake of beta-cryptoxanthin in American population is reported as 104 μg/day (15).


1 R Otsuka. Earth of Mongoloids (2) Encounter to South Pacific Ocean (in Japanese),  Tokyo University Publication, Japan, 1997

2 N Fukui et al. What is Human History vol. 20 (in Japanese), Kodansha, Japan, 2009

3 K Muller. Introducing Papua. Daisy World Books, Indonesia, 2008

4 J Pasveer. Prehistric Human Presence in Papua and Adjacent Areas, The Ecology of Indonesia Series vol. VI : The Ecology of Papua Part One, by AJ Marshall and B M Beehler. Periplus Editions (HK), edited. Singapore, 2007

5 T Nishigaki and K Nakashima. Buah Merah (in Japanese), Ikuhosha, Japan, 2007

6 T M Nishigaki and I S Waspodo. Buah Merah (in Indonesian), Yayasan Pengusaha Makanan dan Minuman Seluruh Indonesia, Indonesia, 2007

7 The Division of Balance Sheet of Regional and Cross-Sector Anakysis. Papua in Figure 2011, BPS-Statistics of Papua Province

8 RJ Johns, GA Shea, W Vink and O Puradyatmika. Montane Vegetation of Papua,  The Ecology of Indonesia Series vol. VI : The Ecology of Papua Part Two, edited by AJ Marshall and B M Beehler. Periplus Editions (HK),. Singapore, 2007

9 Internal Archives of M&K Laboratories Inc. Japan

10 T Nishigaki, F N A Dewi, H Wijaya and H Shigematsu.  Acute and Subacute Toxicity Studies of Pandanus conoideus (Buah Merah) Extract Oil in Sprague Dawley Rats. Internal Archives of M&K Laboratories Inc. Japan

11 T Maeda, H Miyakita, M Goto and A Ito. Mutagenicity Study (of Buah Merah Oil Made by PT Papua Herbal Sejahtera, Indonesia), Internal Archives of M&K Laboratories Inc. Japan

12 Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/index.html#biological_activity

13 Redaksi trubus. Panduan Praktis BUAH MERAH (in Indonesian), 2005, Penebar Swadaya, Indonesia.

14 H Wijaya and T Nishigaki. Preliminary Pharmacokinetic Study of Buah Merah oil in healthy humans. Internal Archives of Center for Agro-Based Industry, Ministry of Industry, Indonesia

15 Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, sikicon, vanadium and zinc. 2001, National Academy Press, USA

16 T Tanaka et al. Suppression of Azoxymethane0induced colon carcinogenesis on male F344 rats by Mandarin juice rich in b-Cryptoxanthin and Hesperidin. Int. J. Cancer: 88, 146–150 (2000)

17 C Liu, RT Bronson, RM Russel and XD Wang. β-Ctryptoxanthin supplementation prevents cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation, oxidative damage and squamous metaplasia in ferrets. Cancer Prev Res, Published online March 18, 2011

18 S Uchiyama, T Sumida and M Yamaguchi. Oral Administration of  β -Cryptoxanthin Induces Anabolic Effects on Bone Components in the Femoral Tissues of Rats in Vivo. Biol. Pharm. Bull. : 27(2) 232—235 (2004)

19 Winarto, M Madiyan and N Anisah. The effect of Pandanus conoideus Lam. Oil on pancreatic β-cells and glibenclamide hupoglycemic effect of diabetic Wistar rats. Berkala Ilmu Kedokteran: 41 (1) 11-19, 2009

20 IM Budi and F Paimin, Buah Merah (in Indonesian), Penebar Swadaya, Indonesia, 2004

21 M Yahya and BTW Wiryanta. Khasiat & Manfaat Buah Merah (in Indonesia). AgroMedia Pustaka, Indonesia, 2005

22 Redaksi AgroMedia. Pro & Kontra Buah Merah. AgroMedia Pustaka, 2005

23 T Nishigaki, K Hirose, IS. Surono and H Shigematsu.  Antitumor Effects of Pandanus conoideus in in vitro and in vivo Studies. Internal Archives of M&K Laboratories Inc. Japan

24 T Nishigaki and K Hirose. In vivo-growth inhibition of human gastric cancer K-MK-6

by Buah Merah. Internal Archives of M&K Laboratories Inc. Japan

25 H Yoshitomi, T Nishigaki, I Surono and M Gao. Longevity of Spontaneous Hypertensive Rat-Stroke Prone Rats (SHR-SP) by Morinda citrifolia (Noni) fruit juice, Cocos nucifera (Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ) and Pandanus conoideus (Buah Merah) oil. International Conference, Exhibition and Short Course on Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in Indonesia, October 11-15, 2010

26 M Hatai, H Yoshitomi, T Nishigakiand M Gao. Inhibitory Effects and Mechanism of Buah Merah (Pandanus conoideus) Oil on Melanogenesis. Japan Pharmacy Conference, supposedly held in Shizuoka in April, 2011. Buah Merah Meeting in Tokyo, May 15, 2011

27 M Hatai, H Yoshitomi, T Nishigakiand M Gao. Stimulatory Action of Tyrosinase Degradation by Buah Merah Oil. Japan Pharmacy conference, March, 2012

28 F Lian, KQ Hu, RM Russel, XD Wang. 2006. beta-Cryptoxanthin suppresses the growth of immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells and non-small lung cancer cells and up-regulates retinoic acid receptor beta expression. 2006, Int. J. Cancer. 119:2084-2089.

Buah Merah 500VE is typical Buah Merah oil capsule product launched in Japan.


As of now, Buah Merah 500 /500VE capsule products have not been available 
in any other country except Japan.
We are willing to send Buah Merah 500VE on request of readers from any country.
It is said that you can purchase food supplements for your self consumption without permission of authority.

Three (3) bottles of Buah Merah 500VE are ready to send you by EMS.
The price including EMS charge is USD 180. 
Remittance cost is considered to be minimal.

Buah Merah 500VE is good for 
fanatic smokers, patients with cancers, DM, post-menopausal oesteoporosis, 
acne, boldness, malnutrition and other serious diseases, 
and for enhance of your health, longevity.

Please contact, Dr. M. Nishigaki,

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