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J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):281-9.

The in vivo antioxidant action and the reduction of oxidative stress by boysenberry extract is dependent on base diet constituents in rats.

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The Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Ltd., New Zealand.


Dietary antioxidants are often defined by in vitro measures of antioxidant activity. Such measures are valid indicators of the antioxidant potential, but provide little evidence of activity as a dietary antioxidant. This study was undertaken to assess the in vivo antioxidant efficacy of a berry fruit extract by measuring biomarkers of oxidative damage to protein (carbonyls), lipids (malondialdehyde), and DNA (8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine urinary excretion) and plasma antioxidant status (antioxidant capacity, vitamin E) in rats when fed basal diets containing fish and soybean oils, which are likely to generate different levels of oxidative stress. Boysenberry (Rubus loganbaccus x baileyanus Britt) extract was used as the dietary antioxidant. The basal diets (chow, synthetic/soybean oil, or synthetic/fish oil) had significant effects on the biomarkers of oxidative damage and antioxidant status, with rats fed the synthetic/fish oil diet having the lowest levels of oxidative damage and the highest antioxidant status. When boysenberry extract was added to the diet, there was little change in 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine excretion in urine, oxidative damage to proteins decreased, and plasma malondialdehyde either increased or decreased depending on the basal diet. This study showed that boysenberry extract functioned as an in vivo antioxidant and raised the antioxidant status of plasma while decreasing some biomarkers of oxidative damage, but the effect was highly modified by basal diet. Our results are further evidence of complex interactions among dietary antioxidants, background nutritional status as determined by diet, and the biochemical nature of the compartments in which antioxidants function.

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