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Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Jun 15;36(12):1575-87.

Characterization of antioxidant and antiglycation properties and isolation of active ingredients from traditional chinese medicines.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.


There is considerable interest in the isolation of more potent antioxidant compounds to treat diseases involving oxidative stress. Thirty-three traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) extracts were examined for their antioxidant activity using the 2,2'-azinobis[3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate] (ABTS) assay. Five extracts with high activity (Cratoxylum cochinchinense, Cortex magnoliae officinalis, Psoralea corylifolia L, Curculigo orchioides Gaertn, and Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch.) were selected for further characterization. C. cochinchinense outperformed other extracts in most of the assays tested except phospholipid peroxidation inhibition, where P. corylifolia L showed higher activity. C. cochinchinense was particularly potent in inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end products on proteins and strongly inhibited hypochlorous acid-induced DNA damage. We attempted to isolate the active ingredients from C. cochinchinense and obtained an extract (YCT) containing at least 90% mangiferin as identified by HPLC and mass spectrometry. However, YCT showed significantly higher activity in assays of phospholipid peroxidation, inhibition of protein glycation, and superoxide (O(2)(?-)) and peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)) scavenging, as compared with mangiferin, suggesting that the nonmangiferin constituents of YCT contribute to its additional antioxidant activities.

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