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J Food Sci. 2008 May;73(4):T55-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00708.x.

Toxicological evaluation of polyphenol extract from Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) fruit.

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Research and Development Div., Nichirei Foods, Inc., 9 Shinminato, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 261-8545, Japan.


Acerola (Malpighia emarginata DC.) is known to be one of the best fruits rich in ascorbic acid and polyphenols. Acerola polyphenols (APs) were found to have radical scavenging activities and inhibitory effects on both alpha-glucosidase and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) production. While polyphenols from several foodstuffs have been shown to be safe, APs, which differ from those of other foodstuffs, have not been evaluated for their toxicological properties. Here, we report preliminary toxicological and safety evaluations of crude APs (C-AP), which were obtained by eluting an XAD7HP column-adsorbed fraction of APs with 70% ethanol containing malic acid. The total polyphenol content of C-AP was 57.7% with the main polyphenols being proanthocyanidin and cyanidin-3-alpha-O-rhamnoside. For toxicological evaluations, C-AP was administered orally to rats at doses of 2000 mg/kg body weight (acute) or 100, 300, and 1000 mg/kg body weight/d for 28 (subacute) and 90 (subchronic) d. In the acute oral toxicological test, no deaths or abnormalities at necropsy on day 14 were observed, confirming that the minimum fatal dose of C-AP is greater than 2000 mg/kg body weight. In both subacute and subchronic toxicological tests, no death was recorded and the body weights and food intakes of the rats did not differ significantly from the control groups. Besides, there were no abnormal clinical signs related to administration of C-AP in any of the experimental animals. These results provide an important reference for the safety of APs as a food supplement for human consumption.

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