Hydroxyl radical and hypochlorous acid scavenging activity of small Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) infusion. A comparative study with green tea (Camellia sinensis)
Author: P. Valentão and E. Fernandes and F. Carvalho and P.B. Andrade and R.M. Seabra and M.L. Bastos
Summary Small centaury (Centaurium erythraea Rafin.) is a herbal species with a long use in traditional medicine due to its digestive, stomachic, tonic, depurative, sedative and antipyretic properties. This species is reported to contain considerable amounts of polyphenolic compounds, namely xanthones and phenolic acids as the main constituents. Although the antiradicalar activity of some pure polyphenolic compounds is already known, it remains unclear how a complex mixture obtained from plant extracts functions against reactive oxygen species. Thus, the ability of small centaury infusion to act as a scavenger of the reactive oxygen species hydroxyl radical and hypochlorous acid was studied and compared with that of green tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Hydroxyl radical was generated in the presence of Fe3+-EDTA, ascorbate and H2O2 (Fenton system) and monitored by evaluating hydroxyl radical-induced deoxyribose degradation. The reactivity towards hypochlorous acid was determined by measuring the inhibition of hypochlorous acid-induced 5-thio-2-nitrobenzoic acid oxidation to 5,5′-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid). The obtained results demonstrate that small centaury infusion exhibits interesting antioxidant properties, expressed both by its capacity to effectively scavenge hydroxyl radical and hypochlorous acid, although with a lower activity against the second than that observed for green tea. Green tea exhibited a dual effect at the hydroxyl radical scavenging assay, stimulating deoxyribose degradation at lower dosages.