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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Apr 24;50(9):2519-23.

Characterization, quantification, and bioactivities of anthocyanins in Cornus species.

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Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals, Department of Horticulture and National Food Safety, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


Cornus mas, Cornus officinalis, Cornus controversa, and Cornus kousa (Cornaceae) bear edible fruits that are consumed in parts of Europe and Asia. This study undertook the investigation of the presence and levels of anthocyanins in the fruits of these Cornus species by HPLC. The anthocyanins present in Cornelian cherries, C. mas, are delphinidin 3-O-beta-galactopyranoside (1), cyanidin 3-O-beta-galactopyranoside (2), and pelargonidin 3-O-beta-galactopyranoside (3). C. officinalis contains only anthocyanins 1-3, similar to C. mas, but in different proportions. However, C. controversa contains anthocyanins 1-3 among other anthocyanins, but Chinese dogwood, C. kousa, did not contain 1-3. The contents of pure anthocyanins 1, 2, and 3 in 1 kg of fresh fruits of C. mas, C. officinalis, and C. controversa were 280, 1079, and 710 ppm; 11, 77, and 230 ppm; and 600, 1000, and 700 ppm, respectively. In cyclooxygenase (COX)-I and -II enzyme inhibitory assays, anthocyanins 1-3 (all 40 microM) showed activities of 9.2 and 11.7%; 7.6 and 12.4%; and 5.3 and 7.8%, respectively, compared to Naproxen (54.3 and 41.3%; 10 microM), ibuprofen (47.5 and 39.8%; 10 microM), Celebrex (46.2 and 66.3%; 1.67 ppm), and Vioxx (23.8 and 88.1%, 1.67 ppm). In the antioxidant assay, anthocyanins 1-3 (all 40 microM) showed activities of 70.2, 60.1, and 40.3%, respectively. At 10 microM concentration, commercial synthetic antioxidants tert-butylhydroquinone, butylated hydroxytoluene, butylated hydroxyanisole, and vitamin E gave 83.2, 79.7, 82.1, and 10.2% of antioxidant activity, respectively.

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