Antioxidant activity of polar lichens from King George Island (Antarctica)
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Antioxidant agents prevent reactive oxygen species, which can cause degenerative diseases. Natural antioxidants are preferred over many synthetic antioxidants, which can be toxic, for therapeutic applications. Five lichen species were collected from King George Island, Antarctica. Antioxidant activities as assessed by DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) free radical and ABTS•+ [2,2’-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate)] radical scavenging capacities were determined and compared with those of commercial standards BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and trolox [(±)-6-hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchromane-2-carboxylic acid]. The results indicated that two lichens exhibited comparatively high antioxidant activities with the remaining three exhibiting less activity. The antioxidant activity was concentration-dependent. When compared, the antioxidant activity of crude extracts from polar lichens to previously published data for tropical and temperate lichen species, we concluded that lichens of Antarctic origin may be the potent sources of strong antioxidant agents. Such species should be explored as novel sources of effective antioxidant metabolites.