Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of 112 traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with anticancer

Yizhong Cai, Qiong Luo, Mei Sun, Harold Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1796 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer prevention and treatment using traditional Chinese medicines have attracted increasing interest. This study characterizes antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with anticancer, comprising 112 species from 50 plant families. The improved ABTS•+ method was used to systematically assess the total antioxidant capacity (Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, TEAC) of the medicinal extracts. The TEAC values and total phenolic content for methanolic extracts of herbs ranged from 46.7 to 17,323 μmol Trolox equivalent/100 g dry weight (DW), and from 0.22 to 50.3 g of gallic acid equivalent/100 g DW, respectively. A positive, significant linear relationship between antioxidant activity and total phenolic content (all R2 values≥0.95) showed that phenolic compounds were the dominant antioxidant components in the tested medicinal herbs. Major types of phenolic compounds from most of the tested herbs were preliminarily identified and analyzed, and mainly included phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins, lignans, quinones, stilbenes, and curcuminoids. These medicinal herbs exhibited far stronger antioxidant activity and contained significantly higher levels of phenolics than common vegetables and fruits. Traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with anticancer might be potential sources of potent natural antioxidants and beneficial chemopreventive agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2157-2184
Number of pages28
JournalLife Sciences
Volume74
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Mar 2004

Keywords

  • ABTS
  • Anticancer
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Flavonoids
  • Free radical
  • Phenolic acids
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Quinones
  • Tannins
  • Traditional Chinese Medicines

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