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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jan 1;51(1):301-10.

Antioxidant, prooxidant, and cytotoxic activities of solvent-fractionated dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extracts in vitro.

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  • 1Food, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of British Columbia, 6650 N.W. Marine Drive, Vancouver, Canada.


This study was conducted to investigate the chemical antioxidant and bioactive properties of the water (WF) and ethyl acetate fractions (EAF) derived from dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flower extract (DFE). HPLC analysis showed the presence of both luteolin and luteolin 7-glucoside in the DFE, which contributed to noted in vitro antioxidant and Caco-2 cell cytotoxic activities. Both WF and EAF of DFE exhibited free radical scavenging activities in a stable 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical model and reduced the breakage of supercoiled DNA strand induced by both non-site-specific and site-specific hydroxyl radical. Oxidation of structured phosphatidylcholine liposome induced by peroxyl radical was reduced in the presence of both EAF and WF. EAF had greater (p < 0.05) affinity to scavenge peroxyl radical than WF, as measured by the formation of conjugated diene. At low concentration, prooxidant activity of both fractions was observed in Cu(2+)-induced structured liposome and hLDL oxidation models, thus indicating that the reducing power of the DFE had resulted in generation of reactive cuprous ion. However, at high concentrations the EAF did not promote oxidation in the presence of Cu(2+), suggesting that the free radical scavenging activity of this fraction was sufficient to minimize the potential oxidative mechanism attributed to the metal ion reducing activity associated with prooxidant activity.

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