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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Aug 24;59(16):8901-7. doi: 10.1021/jf201665t. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Hydrolysis influence on phytochemical composition, antioxidant activity, plasma concentration, and tissue distribution of hydroethanolic Ilex paraguariensis extract components.

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  • 1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo SP, Brazil.


The infusion of aerial parts of Ilex paraguariensis is widely consumed. Its antioxidant activity suggests an important role of this plant in the treatment/prevention of oxidative stress related diseases. Plant extract active compounds are frequently found in esterified form that may be poorly absorbed. Hydrolysis of the extract is a possible approach to increase its bioavailability. The aim of this study was to perform a phytochemical analysis and evaluate in rats the plasma concentration and tissue distribution of antioxidant compounds in the hydroethanolic extract of Ilex paraguariensis, before and after enzymatic hydrolysis. Both extracts presented high antioxidant activity and phenolic content. Rats given single or repeated doses of the hydrolyzed extract showed increased plasma antioxidant activity and higher plasma levels of caffeic acid. However, no changes of endogenous antioxidants were observed. In conclusion, hydrolysis of the extract of Ilex paraguariensis is a strategy to improve its bioavailability and in vivo antioxidant activity.

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