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J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Jun 15;64(23):4716-24. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b00986. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Biological and Nonbiological Antioxidant Activity of Some Essential Oils.

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Unitat de Farmacologia, Farmacognòsia i Terapèutica, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona , Av. Joan XXIII, 27-31, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.
Phytonexus, S.L. , Na Jordana, 11, E-46240 Carlet, València, Spain.
Lidervet, S.L. , Plaça García Lorca, 17, Baixos, E-43006 Tarragona, Spain.


Fifteen essential oils, four essential oil fractions, and three pure compounds (thymol, carvacrol, and eugenol), characterized by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, were investigated for biological and nonbiological antioxidant activity. Clove oil and eugenol showed strong DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) free-radical scavenging activity (IC50 = 13.2 μg/mL and 11.7 μg/mL, respectively) and powerfully inhibited reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in human neutrophils stimulated by PMA (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate) (IC50 = 7.5 μg/mL and 1.6 μg/mL) or H2O2 (IC50 = 22.6 μg/mL and 27.1 μg/mL). Nutmeg, ginger, and palmarosa oils were also highly active on this test. Essential oils from clove and ginger, as well as eugenol, carvacrol, and bornyl acetate inhibited NO (nitric oxide) production (IC50 < 50.0 μg/mL). The oils of clove, red thyme, and Spanish oregano, together with eugenol, thymol, and carvacrol showed the highest myeloperoxidase inhibitory activity. Isomers carvacrol and thymol displayed a disparate behavior in some tests. All in all, clove oil and eugenol offered the best antioxidant profile.


DPPH; NO; ROS; antioxidant; clove oil; essential oils; eugenol; flow cytometry; myeloperoxidase

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