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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Apr 13;59(7):3214-9. doi: 10.1021/jf104311g. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Identification of methanol-soluble compounds in sesame and evaluation of antioxidant potential of its lignans.

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Department of Biotechnology, National Formosa University, Yunlin, Taiwan.


The methanol extract of sesame (Sesamum indicum) seeds was fractionated and purified with the assistance of conventional column chromatography to afford 29 compounds including seven furofuran lignans. Among these isolates, (+)-samin (1) was obtained from the natural source for the first time. In addition, (-)-asarinin (30) and sesamol (31) were generated by oxidative derivation from (+)-sesamolin (2) and (+)-sesamin (3), two abundant lignans found in sesame seeds. To evaluate their in vitro antioxidant potential, the seven isolated lignans (1-7) and the two derivatives (30 and 31) were examined for the scavenging activities on DPPH free radicals and superoxide anions. Moreover, the capability of chelating ferrous ions and reducing power of these sesame lignans were also measured. The results suggest that, besides the well-known sesamolin and sesamin, the minor sesame lignans (+)-(7S,8'R,8R)-acuminatolide (5), (-)-piperitol (6), and (+)-pinoresinol (7) are also adequate active ingredients and may be potential sources for nutritional and pharmacological utilization.

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