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J Appl Toxicol. 2003 Sep-Oct;23(5):363-9.

Effect of quercetin and genistein on copper- and iron-induced lipid peroxidation in methyl linolenate.

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Department of Chemistry, Tennessee State University, 3500 John A. Merritt Boulevard, Nashville, TN 37209, USA.


The single and combined effects of two abundant flavonoids, namely quercetin and genistein, were investigated according to their ability to inhibit the oxidation of methyl linolenate via Fenton's pathway. Antioxidative activity was determined by oxidizing methyl linolenate suspended in a buffer solution with either Fe2+ (50 microM) or Cu2+ (50 microM) and hydrogen peroxide (0.01 mM) without or with a flavonoid sample (10 or 20 microM). Lipid peroxidation products were measured by the thiobarbituric acid (TBA) assay and the amounts of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) were calculated from a calibration curve using 1,1,3,3-tetraethoxypropane as the standard. Both quercetin and genistein at the 10 or 20 microM level decreased lipid peroxidation significantly compared with their respective controls. Of the two flavonoids tested, quercetin had a more marked effect on inhibiting lipid peroxides. Peroxidation products for the control samples were higher for the Fe2+-treated samples compared with the Cu2+ samples. Combination of both flavonoids at the same dose levels continued to decrease lipid peroxidation, the effect being the same for both metal ions. The data suggest that the combined flavonoids offered better protection than the single treatments and this may be attributed to the better radical scavenging or increased chelating capabilities of the combined over the single treatments. The differences in peroxide levels for the single treatment of quercetin compared with the genistein-treated samples may reflect the structural differences between these compounds in combating oxidative stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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