Antioxidative activities of aroma extracts isolated from natural plants

Authors

  • Kwang-Geun Lee,

    1. Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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  • Alyson Mitchell,

    1. Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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  • Takayuki Shibamoto

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
    • Takayuki Shibamoto, Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA. Fax: +1 530 752 3394; E-mail: tshibamoto@ucdavis.edu
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Abstract

Natural leaves and flowers containing numerous aroma chemicals are widely used in aromatherapy since ancient times. In addition to their pleasant smells, aroma chemicals might have some beneficial health effects. Aroma extracts, isolated from coffee beans, soybeans, and mung beans by steam distillation under mild conditions (55°C and 85 mm Hg) were examined for their antioxidative activities. The inhibitory effect of these extracts toward hexanal/hexanoic acid conversion was measured in the testing solution over prolonged time periods. The inhibitory effects of these extracts toward malonaldehyde formation from lipids oxidized by Fenton's reagent were also measured. The antioxidative activity of these extracts, in particular coffee bean extract, was consistent with that of BHT or α-tocopherol (vitamin E). Soybeans and mung beans extract contained maltol, which inhibits hexanal oxidation significantly. Eugenol, which is one of the major constituents of mung bean extract, exhibited potent antioxidative activity in an aldehyde/carboxylic acid assay. Antioxidants such as eugenol and maltol may play an important role in the pharmaceutical activities of natural plant extracts used for aromatherapy.

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