Research: BARROS and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 173

Abstract

BARROS and COLLEAGUES,  Centro de Investigacao de Montanha, ESA, Instituto Politecnico de Braganca, Campus de Santa Apolonia, 5301-855 Braganca, Portugal conducted a systematic study on different parts of fennel to determine the antioxidant potential of shoots, leaves, steams, and inflorescences, in relation to their composition in antioxidant compounds such as vitamins (ascorbic acid and tocopherols) and phenolics.

Background

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.) is a widespread perennial umbeliferous (Apiaceae) herb, traditionally used for medicinal purposes and human consumption. It is highly recommended for diabetes, bronchitis and chronic coughs, and for the treatment of kidney stones; some of those chronic diseases are related to the production of radical species involved in the oxidative stress.

Methodology

Therefore, the antioxidant potential of this herb might explain some of their empirical uses in folk medicine. This is the first time that a systematic study on different parts of fennel is performed, in order to understand differences in the antioxidant potential of shoots, leaves, steams, and inflorescences, particularly related to their composition in antioxidant compounds such as vitamins (ascorbic acid and tocopherols) and phenolics.

Results

The shoots seems to have the highest radical-scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibition capacity (EC(50) values<1.4 mg/ml), which is in agreement with the highest content in phenolics (65.85+/-0.74 mg/g) and ascorbic acid (570.89+/-0.01 microg/g) found in this part.

Conclusion

The shoots also revealed high concentration of tocopherols (34.54+/-1.28 microg/g) and were the only part with flavonoids.

References

Barros L, Heleno SA, Carvalho AM and Ferreira IC. Systematic evaluation of the antioxidant potential of different parts of Foeniculumvulgare Mill. from Portugal. Food & Chemical Toxicology. 47(10):2458-64, Oct 2009.

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