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Open Access Research

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of selected medicinal plants and fungi containing phenolic and flavonoid compounds

Patricia Diaz1, Sang Chul Jeong2, Samiuela Lee1, Cheang Khoo1 and Sundar Rao Koyyalamudi12*

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Complementary Medicine Research, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia

2 School of Science and Health, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia

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Chinese Medicine 2012, 7:26  doi:10.1186/1749-8546-7-26

Published: 24 November 2012

Abstract

Background

This study aims to determine the relationship between the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the thirteen herbs and two fungi extracts, and their total phenolic and flavonoid contents.

Methods

Antioxidant activities were evaluated by four assays: an antioxidant activity assay using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a DPPH ((2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) assay to assess free radical scavenging, an assay assessing ferrous ions or iron (II) chelating ability, and a ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents were determined using the Folin-Ciocalteu and aluminium chloride methods, respectively. Anti-inflammatory activities were determined by measuring the inhibition of nitric oxide and TNF-α production in lipopolysaccharide- and interferon-γ-activated J774A.1 macrophages. Their cytotoxicities against macrophages were determined by MTT assay.

Results

A positive linear correlation between antioxidant activities and the total phenolic and flavonoid content of the plant extracts was found. The plant extracts with high phenolic and flavonoid content also exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity with good cell viability.

Conclusion

The selected herbs could be a rich source of antioxidants and free radical scavenging compounds. The levels of phenolic and flavonoid compounds were correlated with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the extracts from the herbs.