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Toxicology. 2006 Jan 16;217(2-3):213-20. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

Antioxidant activity of caffeic acid (3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid).

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Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Atatürk University, TR-25240 Erzurum, Turkey.


Caffeic acid (3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid) is among the major hydroxycinnamic acids present in wine; sinapic acid, which is a potent antioxidant. It has also been identified as one of the active antioxidant. In the present study, the antioxidant properties of the caffeic acid were evaluated by using different in vitro antioxidant assays such as 2-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl free radical (DPPH) scavenging, total antioxidant activity by ferric thiocyanate method, total reductive capability using the potassium ferricyanide reduction method, superoxide anion radical scavenging and metal chelating activities. alpha-Tocopherol, trolox, a water-soluble analogue of tocopherol, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) were used as the reference antioxidant compounds. At the concentrations of 10 and 30 microg/mL, caffeic acid showed 68.2 and 75.8% inhibition on lipid peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion, respectively. On the other hand, 20 microg/mL of standard antioxidant such as BHA, BHT, alpha-tocopherol and trolox indicated an inhibition of 74.4, 71.2, 54.7 and 20.1% on peroxidation of linoleic acid emulsion, respectively. In addition, caffeic acid is an effective ABTS(+) scavenging, DPPH scavenging, superoxide anion radical scavenging, total reducing power and metal chelating on ferrous ions activities.

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