, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 1179-1187
Date: 27 Nov 2012

Antioxidant properties and total phenolic contents of some tropical seaweeds of the Brazilian coast

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Many types of macroalgae contain a wide range of bioactive compounds that have antioxidant potential. However, in contrast to terrestrial plants, only a few studies have reported the antioxidant activity of seaweeds. Therefore, extracts from 26 marine macroalgae species from the south and southeast coasts of Brazil were evaluated for their antioxidant activity, using the 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl hydrate (DPPH) method and β-carotene/linoleic acid assay, and their total phenolic contents, through Folin–Ciocalteu method. Padina gymnospora, Sargassum vulgare, and Osmundaria obtusiloba presented the highest values of total phenolic content. Using β-carotene bleaching assay, Colpomenia sinuosa, Dictyota sp., Dichotomaria marginata, Ganonema farinosum, and Spyridia clavata presented up to 65 % of antioxidant activity. Some of the extracts showed more than 60 % of inhibition of DPPH in the lowest concentration (0.01 mg/mL), including Amansia sp., Bostrychia tenella, Cryptonemia seminervis, Hypnea musciformis, Plocamium brasiliense (1), and S. clavata. Both Amansia sp., and C. seminervis presented the most relevant antioxidant potential, with percentage of inhibition greater than 70 % in the three tested concentrations. These two species were then analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and were selected for guided fractionation bioassay. They both presented lipid compounds, fatty acids, esters of fatty acids, triglycerides, and sterols as major components. The fractionation of extracts revealed that the organic fractions were responsible for the antioxidant activity. The results obtained through this work indicate that the analyzed seaweeds are a promising source of compounds with high antioxidant potential.