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Molecules. 2013 Oct 17;18(10):12937-50. doi: 10.3390/molecules181012937.

Antioxidant activity and anti-adipogenic effects of wild herbs mainly cultivated in Korea.

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Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 200-701, Korea.


Wild herbs, which are edible plants that grow in mountainous areas, have diverse biological effects such as anti-obesity and anti-cancer activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the total phenolic and flavonoid contents as well as the antioxidant activity of methanol extracts of Aster scaber, Ligularia fischeri, Kalopanax pictus, Codonopsis lanceolata, and Cirsium setidens and to assess their effects on lipid accumulation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production during adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells. The results revealed that among the five studied wild herb extracts, Ligularia fischeri showed the highest total phenolic contents (215.8 ± 14.2 mg GAE/g) and Aster scaber showed the highest total flavonoid content (103.9 ± 3.4 mg RE/g). Furthermore, Aster scaber and Ligularia fischeri extracts showed higher antioxidant activity than the other wild herbs. Regarding anti-adipogenic activity, the Cirsium setidens extract significantly inhibited lipid accumulation (~80%) and ROS production (~50%) during adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells compared with control cells. These results suggest that wild herbs could be used for the development of functional foods as well as health promoting and pharmaceutical agents.

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