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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Nov 6;50(23):6910-6.

Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common vegetables.

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  • 1Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Epidemiological studies have shown that consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of chronic diseases. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables containing high levels of phytochemicals has been recommended to prevent chronic diseases related to oxidative stress in the human body. In this study, 10 common vegetables were selected on the basis of consumption per capita data in the United States. A more complete profile of phenolic distributions, including both free and bound phenolics in these vegetables, is reported here using new and modified methods. Broccoli possessed the highest total phenolic content, followed by spinach, yellow onion, red pepper, carrot, cabbage, potato, lettuce, celery, and cucumber. Red pepper had the highest total antioxidant activity, followed by broccoli, carrot, spinach, cabbage, yellow onion, celery, potato, lettuce, and cucumber. The phenolics antioxidant index (PAI) was proposed to evaluate the quality/quantity of phenolic contents in these vegetables and was calculated from the corrected total antioxidant activities by eliminating vitamin C contributions. Antiproliferative activities were also studied in vitro using HepG(2) human liver cancer cells. Spinach showed the highest inhibitory effect, followed by cabbage, red pepper, onion, and broccoli. On the basis of these results, the bioactivity index (BI) for dietary cancer prevention is proposed to provide a simple reference for consumers to choose vegetables in accordance with their beneficial activities. The BI could be a new alternative biomarker for future epidemiological studies in dietary cancer prevention and health promotion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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