Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, United Kingdom.
Avenanthramides are substituted N-cinnamoylanthranilic acids, with hydroxycinnamic acid and anthranilic acid moieties. These alkaloid phenols, which are unique to oats, may confer health benefits via antioxidant or other mechanisms. Synthetic avenanthramides, hydroxycinnamic acids, Tranilast, and ascorbic acid were evaluated for antioxidant activity using two assays, DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant potential), and for antigenotoxicity using the Comet assay with stressed human adenocarcinoma colon cells. Of all the compounds tested, N-(3',4'-dihydroxy-(E)-cinnamoyl)-5-hydroxyanthranilic acid (2c), an abundant oat avenanthramide, generally had the highest activity in all three assays. The drug Tranilast showed antigenotoxic effects, but not antioxidant activity, suggesting that antigenotoxicity is not dependent on antioxidant effects. Overall, results show that avenanthramides exert antioxidant and antigenotoxic activities that are comparable to those of ascorbic acid and which have the potential to exert beneficial physiological effects.
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