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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Comparative study of the antioxidant and reactive oxygen species scavenging properties in the extracts of the fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Emblica officinalis

Bibhabasu Hazra, Rhitajit Sarkar, Santanu Biswas and Nripendranath Mandal*

Author affiliations

Division of Molecular Medicine, Bose Institute, P-1/12 CIT Scheme VIIM, Kolkata-700054, India

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Citation and License

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010, 10:20  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-20

Published: 13 May 2010

Abstract

Background

Cellular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been implicated in several diseases, and hence natural antioxidants have significant importance in human health. The present study was carried out to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant and reactive oxygen species scavenging activities of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Emblica officinalis fruit extracts.

Methods

The 70% methanol extracts were studied for in vitro total antioxidant activity along with phenolic and flavonoid contents and reducing power. Scavenging ability of the extracts for radicals like DPPH, hydroxyl, superoxide, nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, peroxynitrite, singlet oxygen, hypochlorous acid were also performed to determine the potential of the extracts.

Results

The ability of the extracts of the fruits in exhibiting their antioxative properties follow the order T. chebula > E. officinalis > T. belerica. The same order is followed in their flavonoid content, whereas in case of phenolic content it becomes E. officinalis > T. belerica > T. chebula. In the studies of free radicals' scavenging, where the activities of the plant extracts were inversely proportional to their IC50 values, T. chebula and E. officinalis were found to be taking leading role with the orders of T. chebula > E. officinalis > T. belerica for superoxide and nitric oxide, and E. officinalis > T. belerica > T. chebula for DPPH and peroxynitrite radicals. Miscellaneous results were observed in the scavenging of other radicals by the plant extracts, viz., T. chebula > T. belerica > E. officinalis for hydroxyl, T. belerica > T. chebula > E. officinalis for singlet oxygen and T. belerica > E. officinalis > T. chebula for hypochlorous acid. In a whole, the studied fruit extracts showed quite good efficacy in their antioxidant and radical scavenging abilities, compared to the standards.

Conclusions

The evidences as can be concluded from the study of the 70% methanol extract of the fruits of Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica and Emblica officinalis, imposes the fact that they might be useful as potent sources of natural antioxidant.