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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jan 27;58(2):868-74. doi: 10.1021/jf903334g.

Dammarane-type saponins from the flower buds of Panax ginseng and their intracellular radical scavenging capacity.

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College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 305-764, Korea.


Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer) has been extensively used as a functional food for thousands of years. This study with the aim to evaluate the potential of P. ginseng flower components as a functional food with medicinal properties resulted in the identification of three new dammarane-type saponins, named floralginsenosides Ka-Kc (1-3), along with seventeen known ones (4-20). Their structures were elucidated on the basis of chemical and spectroscopic methods, and their antioxidant activities were evaluated by the intracellular ROS radical scavenging DCF-DA assay. Among them, floralginsenoside Ka (1) displayed potent scavenging activity with the inhibition value of 64% at 10 microM; and ginsenoside Rb(1) (13), floralginsenoside Kc (3), floralginsenoside Kb (2), vinaginsenoside R(9) (11), majoroside F(1) (12), ginsenoside I (17), and ginsenoside II (18) showed moderate scavenging capacity with the inhibition rate of 28, 33, 35, 35, 35, 38, and 38% at 10 microM, respectively. These results warrant further studies concerning the potential of saponin extracts of P. ginseng flowers for functional foods.

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