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Doñinos de Salamanca, Spain

Pereira E.,Polytechnic Institute of Braganca | Barros L.,Polytechnic Institute of Braganca | Calhelha R.C.,Polytechnic Institute of Braganca | Calhelha R.C.,University of Minho | And 4 more authors.
Food and Function | Year: 2014

The bioactivity (antioxidant and cytotoxic activities) of the aqueous and methanolic extracts of Arenaria montana L., a plant commonly used in Portuguese folk medicine, was evaluated and compared. Furthermore, the phytochemical composition was determined based on hydrophilic (sugars, organic acids and phenolic compounds) and lipophilic (fatty acids and tocopherols) compounds, in order to valorize this plant material as a functional food/nutraceutical. Fructose, oxalic acid, methyl-luteolin 2′′-O-feruloylhexosyl-C- hexoside, α-tocopherol, and linoleic acid were the main individual compounds found in A. montana. In general, the aqueous extract showed higher antioxidant and cytotoxic activities than the methanolic extract; the latter showed activity only against HeLa and HepG2 cell lines. Both aqueous and methanolic extracts showed some hepatotoxicity but at higher doses than the ones active for tumor cell lines. Moreover, the aqueous extract of A. montana may be used as a functional food or nutraceutical due to the high antioxidant and cytotoxic activities, and due to the presence of bioactive compounds. As far as we know, this is the first report on the phytochemical composition and bioactivity of A. montana. © the Partner Organisations 2014. Source

Dias M.I.,Mountain Research Center | Dias M.I.,University of Porto | Barros L.,Mountain Research Center | Duenas M.,GIP USAL | And 4 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

Medicinal and aromatic plants are used since ancient times in folk medicine and traditional food, but also in novel pharmaceutical preparations. The controversy lies in the use of cultivated and/or wild plants presenting both advantages and disadvantages in biological, ecological but also economic terms. Herein, cultivated and wild samples of Laurus nobilis L. were chemically characterized regarding nutritional value, free sugars, organic acids, fatty acids and tocopherols. Furthermore, the antioxidant activity (scavenging activity, reducing power and lipid peroxidation inhibition) and individual phenolic profile of L. nobilis extracts and infusions were evaluated. Data showed that the wild sample gave higher nutritional contribution related to a higher content of proteins, free sugars, organic acids, PUFA and tocopherols. It also gave better PUFA/SFA and n - 6/n - 3 ratios. Regarding antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds, it was the cultivated sample (mostly the infusion) that showed the highest values. The present study supports the arguments defending the use of wild and cultivated medicinal and aromatic plants as both present very interesting features, whether nutritional or antioxidant, that can be an assessed by their consumption. In vitro culture could be applied to L. nobilis as a production methodology that allows combination of the benefits of wild and cultivated samples. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Bastos C.,Polytechnic Institute of Braganca | Barros L.,Polytechnic Institute of Braganca | Duenas M.,GIP USAL | Calhelha R.C.,Polytechnic Institute of Braganca | And 4 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

The aim of this study was to characterise sweet cherry regarding nutritional composition of the fruits, and individual phytochemicals and bioactive properties of fruits and stems. The chromatographic profiles in sugars, organic acids, fatty acids, tocopherols and phenolic compounds were established. All the preparations (extracts, infusions and decoctions) obtained using stems revealed higher antioxidant potential than the fruits extract, which is certainly related with its higher phenolic compounds (phenolic acids and flavonoids) concentration. The fruits extract was the only one showing antitumor potential, revealing selectivity against HCT-15 (colon carcinoma) (GI50 ∼ 74 μg/mL). This could be related with anthocyanins that were only found in fruits and not in stems. None of the preparations have shown hepatotoxicity against normal primary cells. Overall, this study reports innovative results regarding chemical and bioactive properties of sweet cherry stems, and confirmed the nutritional and antioxidant characteristics of their fruits. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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