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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Feb 8;54(3):779-84.

Antioxidant activity and bioactive compounds of tea seed (Camellia oleifera Abel.) oil.

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Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, National Chung Hsing University, 250 Kuokuang Road, Taichung 40227, Taiwan, Republic of China.


The oil of tea seed (Camellia oleifera Abel.) is used extensively in China as cooking oil. The objectives of this study were to investigate the antioxidant activity of tea seed oil and its active compounds. Of the five solvent extracts, methanol extract of tea seed oil exhibited the highest yield and the strongest antioxidant activity as determined by DPPH scavenging activity and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC). Two peaks separated from the methanol extract by HPLC contributed the most significant antioxidant activity. These two peaks were further identified as sesamin and a novel compound: 2,5-bis-benzo[1,3]dioxol-5-yl-tetrahydro-furo [3,4-d][1,3]dioxine (named compound B) by UV absorption and characterized by MS, IR, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR techniques. Sesamin and compound B decreased H2O2-mediated formation of reactive oxygen species in red blood cells (RBCs), inhibited RBCs hemolysis induced by AAPH, and increased the lag time of conjugated dienes formation in human low-density lipoprotein. The results indicate that both compounds isolated from tea seed oil exhibit remarkable antioxidant activity. Apart from the traditional pharmacological effects of Camellia oleifera, the oil of tea seed may also act as a prophylactic agent to prevent free radical related diseases.

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