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J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Aug 27;51(18):5540-5.

In vitro antioxidant activities of edible artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) and effect on biomarkers of antioxidants in rats.

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Department of Metabolism and Nutrition, Instituto del Frío, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Ciudad Universitaria, E-28040 Madrid, Spain.


Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.), an edible vegetable from the Mediterranean area, is a good source of natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, hydroxycinnamic acids, and flavones. The antioxidant activity of aqueous-organic extracts of artichoke were determined using three methods: (a) free radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH(*)) scavenging, (b) ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and (c) inhibition of copper(II)-catalyzed in vitro human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation. In addition, the present study was performed to investigate the ability of the edible portion of artichoke to alter in vivo antioxidative defense in male rats using selected biomarkers of antioxidant status. One gram (dry matter) had a DPPH(*) activity and a FRAP value in vitro equivalent to those of 29.2 and 62.6 mg of vitamin C and to those of 77.9 and 159 mg of vitamin E, respectively. Artichoke extracts showed good efficiency in the inhibition in vitro of LDL oxidation. Neither ferric-reducing ability nor 2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazolin-6-sulfonate) radical scavenging activity was modified in the plasma of the artichoke group with respect to the control group. Among different antioxidant enzymes measured (superoxide dismutase, gluthatione peroxidase, gluthatione reductase, and catalase) in erythrocytes, only gluthatione peroxidase activity was elevated in the artichoke group compared to the control group. 2-Aminoadipic semialdehyde, a protein oxidation biomarker, was decreased in plasma proteins and hemoglobin in the artichoke-fed group versus the control group. In conclusion, the in vitro protective activity of artichoke was confirmed in a rat model.

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