• antioxidant activity;
  • maize;
  • phenolics;
  • xanthine oxidase;
  • α-glucosidase

Chemical investigations into maize (Zea mays L.) kernels yielded phenolic compounds, which were structurally established using chromatographic and spectroscopic methods. The isolated phenolic compounds from maize kernel were examined in vitro for their antioxidant abilities by DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazine) radical, OH radical scavenging activity, and reducing ability, along with α-glucosidase and xanthine oxidase (XO) inhibition. The isolated maize phenolics revealed significant xanthine oxidase and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity to that of allopurinol and acarbose in vitro and in vivo, respectively. The kinetics study with xanthine oxidase revealed competitive type of inhibition by isolated maize vanillic acid (M2), ferulic acid (M5), 3′-methoxyhirsutrin (M7), and peonidin-3-glucoside (M10) as compared to control allopurinol. Overall, with few exceptions, all the phenolic compounds from maize kernel revealed significant biological activities with all parameters examined. Also, the phenolic compounds from maize were found to be more reactive toward DPPH radical and had considerable reducing ability and OH radical scavenging activity. These findings suggest that maize kernel phenolic compounds can be considered as potential antioxidant, α-glucosidase, and XO inhibitory agents those might be further explored for the design of lead antioxidant, antidiabetic and antigout drug candidates using in vivo trials.