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Pharmazie. 2006 Mar;61(3):237-40.

Antioxidant and photoprotective properties of an extract from buckwheat herb (Fagopyrum esculentum MOENCH).

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  • 1Institute of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Department of Pharmacy, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.


In recent years, the incidence of skin cancer has risen remarkably. Sun light, especially the included ultraviolet (UV)-radiation, is seen as important trigger for the development of skin cancer. Thus, there is an increasing interest in the development of UV-protective substances to use them as sun care products. One approach is the topical application of herbal antioxidants. Plant-derived antioxidants are often extracts and therefore contain a complex mixture of constituents, like flavonoids and polyphenols, which contribute to the overall activity of the extract. In the present study an extract from buckwheat herb was compared to rutin, which is the main constituent of the extract, regarding their antioxidant and radical scavenging activity. Additionally, the photoprotective properties of the extract were compared to those of a commercial UV absorber. The antioxidant activity was quantified regarding the reactivity versus the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl radical (DPPH). The photoprotective properties of the extract were examined by the inhibition of the photosensitized lipid peroxidation of linolic acid. In the DPPH assay, the extract had significantly better antioxidant activity than pure rutin. The extract prevented more effectively the UV-induced peroxidation of linolic acid than rutin itself or the commercial UV absorber. The use of the extract from buckwheat herb seems to be more beneficial than the use of pure rutin. This can be referred to the presence of minor phenolic compounds in the extract. The results indicate that it is advisable to use antioxidants rather than only UV absorber to obtain a maximum of photo protection.

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