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Aims: As the world nowadays is turning towards the research of biologically active natural compounds, this work aimed at assessing the antioxidant potential of compounds contained in the aqueous extracts of three common Cameroonian pharmacopoeia plants, namely Millettia laurenti (Wengé) seeds, Lophira alata (Azobé) leaves and Milicia excelsa (Iroko) barks and the associated bioactive compounds.
Methodology: After being dried and ground, they were macerated in water and the polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, and alkaloids quantified. The antioxidant potential of the extracts was evaluated through DPPH free radical scavenging, NO scavenging, phosphomolybdate method (TAC), and iron-reducing power (FRAP).
Results: The mean concentrations obtained ranged between 527 and 1213 µg GAE/g DM for polyphenols, 0.39 and 0.65 µg GAE/g DM for tannins, 19.79 and 27.06 µg QE/g DM for flavonoids, 15.72 and 16.02 µg QuE/g DM for alkaloids. Aqueous extracts of Wengé (AE-WG) and Azobé (AE-AZ) exhibited the highest and significantly similar contents. AE-AZ presented the highest iron reducing power (0.015 µg AAE/g DM at 10 mg/mL) and NO scavenging (IC50=3.63 mg/mL) while AE-WG showed the highest DPPH scavenging activity (IC50 = 4.20 mg/mL) and total antioxidant capacity (0.39 µg AAE/g DM at 10 mg/mL). No significant correlation was observed between studied bioactive compounds and the different antioxidant responses except flavonoids and tannins with TAC (p<0.05).
Conclusion: AE-AZ and AE-WG exhibited different antioxidant mechanisms and are therefore of high interest for potential use in the food industry and medicine with reserves to toxicological studies.
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