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Toxicol In Vitro. 2006 Jun;20(4):464-71. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Polypodium leucotomos extract: antioxidant activity and disposition.

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  • 1Advancell, 46009 Valencia, Spain.


The extract of the fern Polypodium leucotomos (PL, Fernblock) is an oral photoprotectant with strong antioxidative properties. Recent studies to determine its chemical composition have shown 4-hydroxycinnamic acid (p-coumaric), 3 methoxy-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (ferulic), 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid (caffeic), 3-methoxy-4-hydroxybenzoic acid (vanillic) and 3-caffeoilquinic acid (chlorogenic) to be among its major phenolic components. No conclusive data are available, however, on the H2O2-scavenging capacity of these compounds, or on their absorption and metabolism following their oral intake. In the present work, their antioxidative capacity was assessed by the luminol/H2O2 assay, their absorption studied using Caco-2 cells to resemble the intestinal barrier, and their metabolism investigated using cultured primary rat hepatocytes. The antioxidant capacity of PL components increased in a concentration-dependent manner, with ferulic and caffeic acids the most powerful antioxidants. The apparent permeability results correspond to a human post-oral administration absorption of 70-100% for all tested substances. Coumaric, ferulic and vanillic acids were metabolized by CYP450-dependent mono-oxygenases and partially conjugated to glucuronic acid and sulfate. These phenolic compounds may contribute to the health benefits afforded by this oral photoprotectant.

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