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Concept: Quercetin


Since gastrointestinal mucosa is constantly exposed to reactive oxygen species from various sources, the presence of antioxidants may contribute to the body’s natural defenses against inflammatory diseases. HYPOTHESIS: To define the polyphenols extracted from dried apple peels (DAPP) and determine their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential in the intestine. Caco-2/15 cells were used to study the role of DAPP preventive actions against oxidative stress (OxS) and inflammation induced by iron-ascorbate (Fe/Asc) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively. RESULTS: The combination of HPLC with fluorescence detection, HPLC-ESI-MS TOF and UPLC-ESI-MS/MS QQQ allowed us to characterize the phenolic compounds present in the DAPP (phenolic acids, flavonol glycosides, flavan-3-ols, procyanidins). The addition of Fe/Asc to Caco-2/15 cells induced OxS as demonstrated by the rise in malondialdehyde, depletion of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and alterations in the activity of endogenous antioxidants (SOD, GPx, G-Red). However, preincubation with DAPP prevented Fe/Asc-mediated lipid peroxidation and counteracted LPS-mediated inflammation as evidenced by the down-regulation of cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), and prostaglandin E2. The mechanisms of action triggered by DAPP induced also a down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 and nuclear factor-κB, respectively. These actions were accompanied by the induction of Nrf2 (orchestrating cellular antioxidant defenses and maintaining redox homeostasis), and PGC-1α (the “master controller” of mitochondrial biogenesis). CONCLUSION: Our findings provide evidence of the capacity of DAPP to reduce OxS and inflammation, two pivotal processes involved in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Concepts: Inflammation, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Oxidative phosphorylation, Reactive oxygen species, Superoxide dismutase, Quercetin, Prostaglandin


Profound research has been done on the medicinal value of Brassica nigra (BN) seeds, and the leaves of the plant have been investigated in this study. The methanol extracts of the leaves were subjected to several in vitro studies. The antioxidant activity of methanol extract was demonstrated with a wide range of concentration, 10-500 µg mL(-1), and the antioxidant activity increased with the increase in concentration. Total phenol content was found to be 171.73 ± 5.043 gallic acid equivalents and the total flavonoid content 7.45 ± 0.0945 quercetin equivalents. Further quantification and identification of the compounds were done by HPTLC and GC-MS analyses. The predominant phenolic compounds determined by HPTLC were gallic acid, followed by quercetin, ferulic acid, caffeic acid and rutin. The free radical quenching property of BN leaf extract suggests the presence of bioactive natural compounds.

Concepts: Catechin, Quercetin, Caffeic acid, Resveratrol, Phenols, Ferulic acid, Gallic acid, Vanillin


Cassia auriculata (Caesalpiniaceae) is a common Asian beverage and medicinal plant widely used in tradition medicine for diabetes, hyperlipidemia and various other disease conditions. Previous studies on crude extracts of C. auriculata have documented the scientific basis for some of its traditional medicinal uses. The present study investigates the antilipase activity of the ethanol extract of the aerial parts along with the previously isolated compounds (kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, rutin, kaempferol, quercetin and luteolin). The crude extract displayed inhibitory activity against pancreatic lipase with IC(50) of 6.0 ± 1.0 µg/mL. The most active antilipase compound was kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside with IC(50) value (2.9 ± 0.50 μM) only about twice weaker than the standard antilipase drug, orlistat (IC(50)  = 1.45 ± 0.26 μM). Luteolin, quercetin and rutin were found to be weak pancreatic lipase inhibitors (IC(50) over 100 μM), whereas kaempferol showed no activity up to 250 μM. The antihyperlipidemic effect of C. auriculata could be attributed to direct lipase inhibitory effect of the plant constituents. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Neurology, In vitro, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Flavonols, Tincture, Pancreatic lipase


The LC-MS/MS technique was applied to the stability study of several flavonoids and phenolic acids in honey samples during the ultrasonic extraction (USE) and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE). Phenolic compounds from the standard mixture were stable under ultrasounds action with the mean recovery of (90.4%±7.1%), but during microwave-assisted extraction the benzoic acid derivatives and aglycones of flavonoids showed lower recovery (70-80%). In honey matrix, the phenolic acids and the glycosides exhibited the high stability for MAE and USE treatments. However, the recoveries of tested aglycones were below 10%. In the presence of an artificial sugar matrix, flavonols were almost completely degraded after successive treatment under MAE and USE conditions. The obtained results indicated that standard addition method for flavonoids quantification in honey samples should not be recommended. Application of the USE conditions provided higher and/or similar extraction yields for phenolic acids than usually applied shaking with solvent. It also allowed shortening the time required for the whole sample preparation procedure. Phenolic acids and glycosides such as quercetrin, rutin and hesperidin appeared to be stable under such conditions.

Concepts: Catechin, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Glycoside, Phenols, Myricetin, Standard addition, Rutin


The total phenolic content (TFC), total flavonoid content (TFC), antioxidant activity, and polyphenols composition of rabbiteye blueberry fruit polyphenols (BBFPs) extract, rabbiteye blueberry pomace polyphenols (BBPPs) extract, and rabbiteye blueberry leaves polyphenols (BBLPs) extract were investigated. The highest TPC and TFC were found in the BBLPs extract, followed by the BBPPs and BBFPs extracts. The BBLPs extract exhibited the highest antioxidant activity according to five antioxidant methods. All the three samples exhibited significantly higher antioxidant activity than the positive control rutin. HPLC-DAD-MSn analysis showed that the BBFPs extract contained nine different anthocyanins, while the BBPPs extract contained only four of them. In addition, four caffeoylquinic acids, quercetin, and its three derivatives were detected in the BBLPs extract. The results indicated that the fruits, pomace, and leaves of rabbiteye blueberry were good sources of polyphenols and natural antioxidants. These could be useful as functional food ingredient beneficial to human health.

Concepts: Nutrition, Antioxidant, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Resveratrol, Anthocyanin, Vaccinium, Blueberry


The phenolic compounds were extracted from green and yellow leaves, stalks, and seeds of garlic ( Allium ursinum L.). The extracts were analyzed by liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-PDA-ESI-MS/MS). In total, 21 compounds were detected. The flavonol derivatives were identified on the basis of their ultraviolet (UV) spectra and fragmentation patterns in collision-induced dissociation experiments. On the basis of accurate MS and MS/MS data, six compounds were newly identified in bear’s garlic, mainly the kaempferol derivatives. As far as the investigated parts of garlic are concerned, the kaempferol derivatives were found to be predominant in yellow leaves [2362.96 mg/100 g of dry matter (dm)], followed by green leaves (1856.31 mg/100 g of dm). Seeds contained the minimal phenolic compounds, less than stalks. The yellow leaves of A. ursinum possessed a much larger content of compounds acylated with p-coumaric acid than green leaves (1299.97 versus 855.67 mg/100 g of dm, respectively). The stalks and seeds contained much more non-acetylated than acetylated flavonoid glycosides with p-coumaric acid compounds (162.4 versus 62.82 mg/100 g of dm and 105.49 versus 24.18 mg/100 g of dm, respectively).

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Garlic, Allium, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Phenols, Tandem mass spectrometry, Myricetin


Berries and red fruits are rich dietary sources of polyphenols with reported health benefits. More than 50 different flavonols (glycosides of quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin, syringetin and laricitrin) have been detected and quantified with HPLC-MS(n) in fruits of blueberry, bilberry, cranberry, lingonberry, eastern shadbush, Japanese wineberry, black mulberry, chokeberry, red, black and white currants, jostaberry, red and white gooseberry, hardy kiwifruit, goji berry, rowan, dog rose, Chinese and midland hawthorn, wild and cultivated species of blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and elderberry. The phenolic constituents and contents varied considerably among the analyzed berry species. Elderberry contained the highest amount of total flavonols (450-568 mgkg(-1) FW), followed by berry species, containing more than 200 mgkg(-1) FW of total: chokeberry (267mgkg(-1)), eastern shadbush (261 mgkg(-1)), wild grown blackberry (260 mgkg(-1)), rowanberry (232 mgkg(-1)), american cranberry (213 mgkg(-1)) and blackcurrants (204 mgkg(-1)). Strawberry (10.5 mgkg(-1)) and white currants (4.5 mgkg(-1)) contained the lowest amount of total flavonols. Quercetins represent the highest percentage (46-100%) among flavonols in most analyzed berries. In wild strawberry and gooseberry the prevailing flavonols belong to the group of isorhamnetins (50-62%) and kaempferols, which represent the major part of flavonols in currants (49-66%). Myricetin glycosides could only be detected in chokeberry, rowanberry and species from the Grossulariaceae, and Adoxaceae family and Vaccinium genus. Wild strawberry and blackberry contained from 3- to 5-fold higher total flavonols than the cultivated one.

Concepts: Vitamin C, Fruit, Quercetin, Flavonols, Cranberry, Vaccinium, Berry, Berries


Flavonols kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin and gossypetin, and flavones apigenin, acacetin, luteolin, orientin and tricin, are subjected to two AlCl(3) spectrophotometric methods used for determination of total flavonoid content. The method developed by Woisky and Salatino involves addition of AlCl(3) solution to the flavonoid solution and recording of optical density at 420nm. All flavonols except kaempferol have absorption maxima above 440nm and so readings at 420nm are erroneous. Among flavones, all except for luteolin and orientin, have absorption maxima below 400nm. Further, addition of CH(3)COOK and recording the absorbance at 415nm, as modified by Chang et al., works well for flavonols kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin, but not for gossypetin. The flavones luteolin and orientin absorbed above 400nm, whereas all others absorbed below 400nm. Examination of the results of both methods indicates they are inadequate, and should not to be considered as universal and standard methods for total flavonoid determination.

Concepts: Quercetin, Flavonoid, Flavones, Flavonols, Kaempferol, Myricetin, Luteolin, Rutin


INTRODUCTION: Propolis is a chemically complex resinous substance collected by honeybees (Apis mellifera) from tree buds, comprising plant exudates, secreted substances from bee metabolism, pollen and waxes. Its chemical composition depends strongly on the plant sources available around the beehive, which have a direct impact in the quality and bioactivity of the propolis. Being as Portugal is a country of botanical diversity, the phenolic characterisation of propolis from the different regions is a priority. OBJECTIVE: Extensive characterisation of the phenolic composition of Portuguese propolis from different continental regions and islands. METHOD: Forty propolis ethanolic extracts were analysed extensively by liquid chromatography with diode-array detection coupled to electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (LC-DAD-ESI-MS(n) ). RESULTS: Seventy-six polyphenols were detected in the samples and two groups of propolis were established: the common temperate propolis, which contained the typical poplar phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and their methylated/esterified forms, phenylpropanoid acids and their esters, and an uncommon propolis type with an unusual composition in quercetin and kaempferol glycosides - some of them never described in propolis. CONCLUSION: The method allowed the establishment of the phenolic profile of Portuguese propolis from different geographical locations, and the possibility to use some phenolic compounds, such as kaempferol-dimethylether, as geographical markers. Data suggest that other botanical species in addition to poplar trees can be important sources of resins for Portuguese propolis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Honey bee, Beekeeping, Catechin, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Glycoside, Myricetin


A high-performance liquid chromatographic method with gradient elution and diode-array detection was developed to quantify free phenolic acids (gallic, vanillic, chlorogenic, caffeic, syringic, p-coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, salycilic, elagic and trans-cinnamic), flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin, rutin, myricetin and quercetin) and juglone in walnut leaves. Chromatographic separation was performed on a Hypersil Gold C18 column (5 µm particle size, 250 × 4.6 mm) and detection was conducted at three different wavelengths (254, 278 and 300 nm) according to the absorption maxima of the analyzed compounds. Validation procedures were conducted and the method was proven to be precise, accurate and sensitive. The developed method has been applied to analyze walnut leaves samples from nine different cultivars, with the same agricultural, geographical and climatic conditions. The experimental results revealed high concentrations of myricetin, catechin hydrate and rutin, and low concentrations of quercetin and epicatechin aglycones. Ellagic acid was established as the dominating phenolic acid of walnut leaves, followed by trans-cinnamic, chlorogenic and caffeic acids. Juglone content varied between 44.55 and 205.12 mg/100 g fresh weight. Significant differences were detected among cultivars for the concentration levels of phenolics.

Concepts: Chromatography, Catechin, Quercetin, Flavonoid, Caffeic acid, Phenols, Phenolic compounds in wine, Myricetin