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Free Radic Biol Med. 1994 Jun;16(6):845-50.

The correlation between active oxygens scavenging and antioxidative effects of flavonoids.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


The abilities of 15 flavonoids as a scavenger of active oxygens (hydroxyl radical and superoxide anion) were studied. Hydroxyl radical (.OH) was generated by the Fenton system, and assayed by the determination of methanesulfonic acid (MSA) formed from the reaction of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) with .OH. (+)-Catechin, (-)-epicatechin, 7,8-dihydroxy flavone, and rutin showed the .OH scavenging effect 100-300 times superior to that of mannitol, a typical .OH scavenger. The other flavonoids showed no .OH scavenging effect at their concentrations up to 50 microM. Baicalein, quercetin, morin, and myricetin unexpectedly increased the .OH production in the Fenton system. The flavonoids tested now, except monohydroxy flavones, were more or less inhibitive to the superoxide anion (O2) generation in the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase system. A great part of this inhibitory effect was likely owing to suppression of xanthine oxidase activity by the flavonoids. The flavonoids, which scavenged .OH or O2-, were necessarily antioxidants to the peroxidation of methyl linoleate. However, there was a type of flavonoid such as morin, which have neither .OH nor O2- scavenging effect, but was a strong antioxidant.

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