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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011 Jun;66(2):129-35. doi: 10.1007/s11130-011-0223-7.

Antigenotoxicity and antioxidant activity of Acerola fruit (Malpighia glabra L.) at two stages of ripeness.

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Laboratório de Genética Toxicológica-Programa de Pós-Graduação em Genética e Toxicologia Aplicada, Universidade Luterana do Brasil, 92425-900, Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


Genotoxic and antigenotoxic effects of acerola fruit at two stages of ripeness were investigated using mice blood cells. The results show that no ripeness stage of acerola extracts presented any genotoxic potential to damage DNA (Comet assay) or cytotoxicity (MTT assay). When antigenotoxic activity was analyzed, unripe fruit presented higher DNA protection than ripe fruit (red color) extract. The antioxidant capacity of substances also showed that unripe samples inhibit the free radical DPPH more significantly than the ripe ones. The results about determination of compounds made using HPLC showed that unripe acerola presents higher levels of vitamin C as compared to ripe acerola. Thus, vitamin C and the complex mixture of nutrients of Malpighia glabra L., and especially its ripeness stages, influenced the interaction of the fruit extract with the DNA. Acerola is usually consumed when ripe (red fruit), although it is the green fruit (unripe) that has higher potential as beneficial to DNA, protecting it against oxidative stress.

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