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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Jan 12;59(1):428-36. doi: 10.1021/jf103896z. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Inhibitory activities of soluble and bound millet seed phenolics on free radicals and reactive oxygen species.

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Department of Biochemistry, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, Canada.


Oxidative stress, caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), is responsible for modulating several pathological conditions and aging. Soluble and bound phenolic extracts of commonly consumed millets, namely, kodo, finger (Ravi), finger (local), foxtail, proso, little, and pearl, were investigated for their phenolic content and inhibition of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical and ROS, namely, hydroxyl radical, peroxyl radical, hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). Inhibition of DPPH and hydroxyl radicals was detrmined using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The peroxyl radical inhibitory activity was measured using the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. The scavenging of H(2)O(2), HOCl, and (1)O(2) was evaluated using colorimetric methods. The results were expressed as micromoles of ferulic acid equivalents (FAE) per gram of grain on a dry weight basis. In addition, major hydroxycinnamic acids were identified and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and HPLC-mass spectrometry (MS). All millet varieties displayed effective radical and ROS inhibition activities, which generally positively correlated with phenolic contents, except for hydroxyl radical. HPLC analysis revealed the presence of ferulic and p-coumaric acids as major hydroxycinnamic acids in phenolic extract and responsible for the observed effects. Bound extracts of millet contributed 38-99% to ROS scavenging, depending on the variety and the test system employed. Hence, bound phenolics must be included in the evaluation of the antioxidant activity of millets and other cereals.

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