Health effects of Dehydrated Sugarcane Juice(Panela), A previous review identified 27 reports of a wide range of health effects of Panela or its extracts in vitro or animal research models (Jaffe´, 2012b). Only two papers report trials with humans.
The bioactive compounds proposed as possible causes are minerals (Fe, Cr, and P in the form of phosphates) and phenolic compounds. In two cases specific bioactive polyphenols have been identified. The strongest evidence for the health effect of Panela to date is the increased formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells caused by its iron content, reported in humans by at least two papers. The cause and effect relationship between iron consumption and hemoglobin and red blood cells increase has been accepted by the European Food Safety Agency and therefore claims in this sense are permitted in Europe (EFSA, 2014). The statistically significant increase in hemoglobin in preschool children after consumption of Panela fortified beverage has been demonstrated by a Brazilian group (Arcanjo et al., 2009) leading them to propose to consider Panela as food fortificant (Arcanjo et al., 2013).
Immunological Effects In a series of papers published from 2002 to 2007, various collaborations between the National Institute of Animal Health, the University of Tokyo and the Shin Mitsui Sugar Co., in Japan, and institution in Egypt, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Finland reported growth promoting, immunostimulating, adjuvant and infection protective effects of oral administration of Sugar Cane Extract (SCE), and of polyphenol-rich fractions of them, in chicken, pigs and mice. Chicken fed SCE for 3 or 6 consecutive days significantly increased their body weight and bodyweight increase per day, and reduced their food conversion ratios, showing also significantly higher immune responses against sheep red blood cells, Brucella abortus, and Salmonella enteritis, as well as protection against Eimeria tenella infection. Polymorphonuclear cells of the peripheral blood significantly increased their phagocytosis when cultured with SCE for 24 h. Delayed-type hypersensitivity responses to human gamma globulin also increased significantly (El-Abasy et al. 2002; El-Abasy et al. 2003a, b; El-Abasy et al. 2004; Hikosaka et al. 2007). SCE administration also had preventive and therapeutic effects on X-rays and cyclophosphamide-induced immunosuppression and feed-withdrawal stress in chicken (Amer et al. 2004).
In the case of pigs, SCE significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of natural killer cells and phagocytosis by neutrophils and monocytes, interferon gamma production, as well as growth-enhancement and protection against porcine-reproductive-respiratory syndrome (Lo et al. 2005; Lo et al. 2006).
In a mouse model, SCE inhibited and protected the animals against endotoxic lethal shock. Supplementation of SCE to peritoneal macrophages cultured with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) resulted in a significant reduction of nitric oxide (NO) production. A peritoneal, but not intravenous or oral, administration of SCE, 3–48 h before LPS? GalN challenge, resulted in a significantly improved survival rate (92.3%) and a decrease of liver injury, suggesting as one of possible action mechanism of this effect the suppression of NO production (Hikosaka et al. 2006; Motobu et al. 2006).