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J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 14;60(45):11343-50. doi: 10.1021/jf303377f. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Effects of essential oils from herbal plants and citrus fruits on DNA polymerase inhibitory, cancer cell growth inhibitory, antiallergic, and antioxidant activities.

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Laboratory of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Nutrition, Kobe Gakuin University, Nishi-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 651-2180, Japan.


In this study, the biological activity of 20 essential oils (EOs) from herbal plants and citrus fruits were investigated in terms of mammalian DNA polymerase (pol) inhibitory activity, cancer cell (human colon carcinoma, HCT116) growth inhibitory activity, antiallergic activity, as anti-β-hexosaminidase release activity in rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells treated with calcium ionophore A23187, and antioxidant activity by a lipophilic-oxygen radical absorbance capacity method. These EOs showed patterns of inhibition of pol α, a DNA replicative pol, similar to their cancer cell growth inhibitory activity, and their inhibitory activity on pol λ, a DNA repair/recombination pol, by the EOs showed correlation with anti-β-hexosaminidase release activity. Among these EOs, chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) was the strongest inhibitor of pols α and λ and showed significant effects on both cancer cell growth and mast cell degranulation. On the basis of these results, chamomile EO can be recommended as a potentially useful, bioactive candidate for therapeutic applications.

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