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J Med Food. 2010 Feb;13(1):223-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0257.

Oxygen radical absorbance capacity of phycocyanin and phycocyanobilin from the food supplement Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.

Author information

1
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Urbino, Italy. serena.benedetti@uniurb.it

Abstract

The oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay has been widely used to quantify peroxyl radical scavenging capacity of pure antioxidant compounds and antioxidant plant/food extracts. However, it has never been applied to natural compounds derived from microalgae-based dietary supplements, namely, phycocyanin (PC) and phycocyanobilin (PCB), for which a strong radical scavenger activity has been documented. In this article, we applied the ORAC method to investigate the capacity of PC and PCB purified from the edible microalga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae to directly quench peroxyl radicals in comparison to well-known antioxidants molecules such as Trolox, ascorbic acid, and reduced glutathione. As a result, PCB was found to have the highest ORAC value (22.18 micromol of Trolox/micromol of compound), comparable to that of PC (20.33 micromol of Trolox/micromol of compound), hence confirming that PCB is mostly responsible for the scavenger activity of PC and making the protein a possible source of the antioxidant in vivo. Our data further corroborate the use of these natural compounds from A. flos-aquae as dietary antioxidant supplements in the treatment of clinical conditions related to oxidative stress.

PMID:
20136460
DOI:
10.1089/jmf.2008.0257
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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