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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 Dec;67(12):2632-40.

Production of hydrogen peroxide by polyphenols and polyphenol-rich beverages under quasi-physiological conditions.

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Department of Applied Bioorganic Chemistry, Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan.


To investigate the ability of the production of H(2)O(2) by polyphenols, we incubated various phenolic compounds and natural polyphenols under a quasi-physiological pH and temperature (pH 7.4, 37 degrees C), and then measured the formation of H(2)O(2) by the ferrous ion oxidation-xylenol orange assay. Pyrocatechol, hydroquinone, pyrogallol, 1,2,4-benzenetriol, and polyphenols such as catechins yielded a significant amount of H(2)O(2). We also examined the effects of a metal chelator, pH, and O(2) on the H(2)O(2)-generating property, and the generation of H(2)O(2) by the polyphenol-rich beverages, green tea, black tea, and coffee, was determined. The features of the H(2)O(2)-generating property of green tea, black tea, and coffee were in good agreement with that of phenolic compounds, suggesting that polyphenols are responsible for the generation of H(2)O(2) in beverages. From the results, the possible significances of the H(2)O(2)-generating property of polyphenols for biological systems are discussed.

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