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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Feb 13;50(4):850-7.

Inhibitory effects of anthocyanins and other phenolic compounds on nitric oxide production in LPS/IFN-gamma-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages.

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  • 1Food Research Program, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, British Columbia, Canada.


Flavonoids have been reported to lower oxidative stress and possess beneficial effects on cardiovascular diseases and chronic inflammatory diseases associated with nitric oxide (NO). Common phenolic compounds, including phenolic acids, flavonols, isoflavones, and anthocyanins, present in fruits were investigated for their effects on NO production in LPS/IFN-gamma-activated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Phenolic compounds at the range of 16-500 microM that inhibited NO production by > 50% without showing cytotoxicity were the flavonols quercetin and myricetin, the isoflavone daidzein, and the anthocyanins/anthocyanidins pelargonidin, cyanidin, delphinidin, peonidin, malvidin, malvidin 3-glucoside, and malvidin 3,5-diglucosides. Anthocyanins had strong inhibitory effects on NO production. Anthocyanin-rich crude extracts and concentrates of selected berries were also assayed, and their inhibitory effects on NO production were significantly correlated with total phenolic and anthocyanin contents. This is the first study to report the inhibitory effects of anthocyanins and berry phenolic compounds on NO production.

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