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Nat Prod Commun. 2009 Aug;4(8):1053-8.

Phytochemical characterization of an adaptogenic preparation from Rhodiola heterodonta.

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Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences Department, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


The phytochemical constituents of a biologically active, standardized, 80% ethanol extract of Rhodiola heterodonta were characterized. The extract was fractionated over a Sephadex LH-20 column to afford two main fractions representing two classes of secondary metabolites: phenylethanoids and proanthocyanidins. This fractionation facilitated the identification and quantification of individual compounds in the fractions and sub-fractions using HPLC, and LC-MS. The major compounds in the phenylethanoid fraction were heterodontoside, tyrosol methyl ether, salidroside, viridoside, mongrhoside, tyrosol, and the cyanogenic glucoside rhodiocyanoside A. These seven compounds comprised 17.4% of the EtOH extract. Proanthocyanidins ranged from oligomers to polymers based on epigallocatechin and gallate units. The main identified oligomeric compounds in the proanthocyanidin fraction were epigallocatechin gallate, epigallocatechin-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate and 3-O-galloyl-epigallocatechin-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate, which constituted 1.75% of the ethanol extract. Tyrosol methyl ether, mongrhoside, and the two proanthocyanidin dimers were reported for the first time from this species in this study. Intraperitoneal injection of the 80% ethanol extract increased survival time of mice under hypoxia by 192%, as an indication of adaptogenic activity.

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