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Pharm Biol. 2013 Nov;51(11):1419-25. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2013.794844. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

In vitro antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of ethanol extract of Alpinia oxyphylla fruits.

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  • 1Shanghai Key Laboratory of Functional Materials Chemistry, and Research Center of Analysis and Test, East China University of Science and Technology , Shanghai , P.R. China.



Alpinia oxyphylla Miquel (Zingiberaceae) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine widely used for the treatment of intestinal disorders, urosis and diuresis. However, information about antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of its fruits remains to be elucidated.


The ethanol crude extract (CE) and its fractions [petroleum ether fraction (PF), ethyl acetate fraction (EF), n-butanol fraction (BF) and water fraction (WF) extracted by petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water, respectively] of A. oxyphylla fruits were investigated for their antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity.


The total phenolic content (TPC) and antioxidant activity of the extracts were determined by Folin-Ciocalteu reagent, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH(•)), Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity and reducing power assay. Cytotoxicity of the extracts (0-200 μg/mL) was tested on six human cancer cell lines (breast cancer cell line, cervix carcinoma cell line, lung adenocarcinoma cell line, liver carcinoma cell line, gastric cancer cell line and colon cancer cell line) using the sulforhodamine B assay.


The TPC of extracts varied from 8.2 to 20.3 mg gallic acid equivalents/g dry weight. DPPH radical scavenging effect of extracts decreased in the order of EF > BF > CE > PF > WF, with IC50 values ranging from 74.7 to 680.8 μg/mL. 2,2-azo-bis(3-Ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfoic acid) diammonium salt scavenging activity ranged from 0.118 to 0.236 mmol Trolox equivalence/mg extract. The extracts exhibited concentration-dependent reducing power, and EF showed the highest reducing ability. A satisfactory correlation (R(2) > 0.826) between TPC and antioxidant activity was observed. In addition, EF, PF and CE exhibited potent anticancer effects on six cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 40.1 to 166.3 μg/mL.


The ethanol extract of A. oxyphylla fruit, especially the EF, was found to possess potent antioxidant and anticancer activities, and thus a great potential for the application in food and drug products.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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