Pycnogenol - extract from French maritime pine bark (Pinus pinaster), as an effective antioxidant against superoxide radical
Background: Interest in the positive impact of naturally occurring polyphenols is still increasing in the scientific community. Research is focused mainly on their antioxidant properties, due to their significant effects in the prevention of diseases associated with oxidative stress. Pycnogenol is an extract from French maritime pine bark (Pinus pinaster), which is composed of a mixture of phenolic compounds: monomers (catechin, epicatechin, taxifolin), flavonoids (classed as procyanidins/proanthocyanidins), phenolic or cinnamic acids and their glycosides. Due to its composition, it has a high antioxidant capacity, and is used in traditional folk medicine, cosmetics and medicine.
Purpose of the study: The aim is to study the antioxidant properties of pycnogenol in order to obtain experimental information on the antioxidant effect of pycnogenol in terms of concentration dependence and pH conditions.
Methods: In our study, we used a methionine-riboflavin superoxide generator, and focused on determining the antioxidant capacity of Pycnogenol against the superoxide radical in different pH values (range 6.5 – 8) using the spectroscopic method.
Results: Our results showed that the antioxidant properties increased with a higher concentration of the tested compound in the tested pH range. Amongst all tested pH values, the most appropriate for pycnogenol antioxidant capacity is slightly basic pH (pH 8).
Conclusion: Information on the antioxidant and prooxidant properties of naturally occurring compounds is very important for understanding their activity and their proper use in prevention, disease treatment, and detection of pathological processes. The antioxidant activity of pycnogenol depends on the structure and concentration of antioxidants; it only slightly changes at different pH values. Increasing concentration of pycnogenol enhances its antioxidant properties.
Keywords: Pycnogenol, reactive oxygen species, spectrophotometry, pH dependency
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