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Nutr Res Pract. 2011 Aug;5(4):281-7. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2011.5.4.281. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Antioxidant activity and analysis of proanthocyanidins from pine (Pinus densiflora) needles.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Silla University, 140 Baegyang-daero 700beon-gil, Sasang-gu, Busan 617-736, Korea.


In this study, we evaluated the antioxidant activity of pine needle extracts prepared with hot water, ethanol, hexane, hot water-hexane (HWH), and hot water-ethanol (HWE), using the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical method. The hot water extract possessed superior antioxidant activity than the other extracts. We also compared the antioxidant activity of pine needle extracts through ROS inhibition activity in a cellular system using MC3T3 E-1 cells. The hot water extract exhibited the lowest ROS production. The pattern of HPLC analysis of each extract indicated that the hot water extract contained the highest proanthocyanidin level. The pine needle hot-water extract was then isolated and fractionated with Sephadex LH-20 column chromatography to determine the major contributor to its antioxidant activity. The No.7 and 12 fractions had high antioxidant activities, that is, the highest contents of proanthocyanidins and catechins, respectively. These results indicate that the antioxidant activity of procyanidins from the hot water extract of pine needles is positively related to not only polymeric proanthocyanidins but also to monomeric catechins. Moreover, the antioxidant activity of the pine needle hot water extract was similar to well-known antioxidants, such as vitamin C. This suggests that pine needle proanthocyanidins and catechins might be of interest for use as alternative antioxidants.


DPPH; HPLC analysis; ROS; pine needle; proanthocyanidin

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