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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 May 14;56(9):3350-6. doi: 10.1021/jf0734931. Epub 2008 Apr 19.

Antioxidant and iron-binding properties of curcumin, capsaicin, and S-allylcysteine reduce oxidative stress in rat brain homogenate.

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Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Biotechnology and Faculty of Pharmacy, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, South Africa.


Research demonstrates that antioxidants and metal chelators may be of beneficial use in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study investigated the antioxidant and metal-binding properties of curcumin, capsaicin, and S-allylcysteine, which are major components found in commonly used dietary spice ingredients turmeric, chilli, and garlic, respectively. The DPPH assay demonstrates that these compounds readily scavenge free radicals. These compounds significantly curtail iron- (Fe2+) and quinolinic acid (QA)-induced lipid peroxidation and potently scavenge the superoxide anion generated by 1 mM cyanide in rat brain homogenate. The ferrozine assay was used to measure the extent of Fe2+ chelation, and electrochemistry was employed to measure the Fe3+ binding activity of curcumin, capsaicin, and S-allylcysteine. Both assays demonstrate that these compounds bind Fe2+ and Fe3+ and prevent the redox cycling of iron, suggesting that this may be an additional method through which these agents reduce Fe2+-induced lipid peroxidation. This study demonstrates the antioxidant and metal-binding properties of these spice ingredients, and it is hereby postulate that these compounds have important implications in the prevention or treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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