Cyanidin and cyanidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside as DNA cleavage protectors and antioxidants
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Anthocyanins, colored flavonoids, are water-soluble pigments present in the plant kingdom; in fact they are secondary plant metabolites responsible for the blue, purple, and red color of many plant tissues. Present in beans, fruits, vegetables and red wines, considerable amounts of anthocyanins are ingested as constituents of the human diet (180–215 mg daily). There is now increasing interest in thein vivo protective function of natural antioxidants contained in dietary plants against oxidative damage caused by free radical species. Recently, the antioxidant activity of phenolic phytochemicals, has been investigated. Since the antioxidant mechanism of anthocyanin pigments is still controversial, in the present study we evaluated the effects of cyanidin and cyanidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside on DNA cleavage, on their free radical scavenging capacity and on xanthine oxidase activity. Cyanidin and cyanidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside showed a protective effect on DNA cleavage, a dose-dependent free radical scavenging activity and significant inhibition of XO activity. These effects suggest that anthocyanins exhibit interesting antioxidant properties, and could therefore represent a promising class of compounds useful in the treatment of pathologies where free radical production plays a key role.
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