Natural Compounds with Antioxidant Activity: Recent Findings from Studies on Medicinal Plants

Natural Compounds with Antioxidant Activity: Recent Findings from Studies on Medicinal Plants
나민균Phuong Thien Thuong[Phuong Thien Thuong]배기환[배기환]
Reactive oxygen species; Natural antioxidants; Medicinal plants; Stilbene glycosides; Phenolic glycosides; Flavonoids; Oligostilbenes; Coumarins
Issue Date
Natural Product Sciences, v.17, no.2, pp.65 - 79
Reactive oxygen species potentially cause damage to cellular components including lipids, protein and DNA; this oxidative damage plays a key role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease and cancer. On the basis of the oxidative stress hypothesis, a number of studies have been performed to search for an efficient and safe antioxidant. Although in vitro studies have provided promising results, only a limited number of natural and synthetic antioxidants have been developed for clinical application due to their low efficacy and side-effects. Thus, the discovery of new antioxidants with marked efficacy and safety has attracted worldwide attention in recent decades. Since plants are recognized as important sources of natural antioxidants, our research has focused on the discovery of new naturally occurring antioxidants from medicinal plants. The purpose of this review is to open a new prospect in the field of search for natural antioxidants from medicinal plants by summarizing our recent findings. Using in vitro bioassay systems such as 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, superoxide radical scavenging tests and lipid peroxidation models, we have tested over than 350 species of medicinal plants for their antioxidant activity and selected several of them for further investigation. During the research on the discovery of effective natural antioxidants from the medicinal plants selected, we have isolated several new and known antioxidant compounds that include stilbene glycosides, phenolic glycosides, flavonoids, oligostilbenes, and coumarins. Our results suggest that the presence of antioxidant compounds in the medicinal plants might be associated with the traditional use to treat inflammation, cardiovascular disease and various chronic diseases.
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