β-ecdysone content and antioxidant capacity in different organs of Brazilian ginseng
ABSTRACT: Plants that contain antioxidant compounds have attracted increasing interest for their vital role in the attenuation of oxidative damage caused by free radicals and in the treatment of various diseases. The present study investigated the β-ecdysone content and the antioxidant activity of Brazilian ginseng (Pfaffia glomerata) extracts obtained from inflorescences, stems, and roots. The P. glomerata extracts were tested for antioxidant activity using the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging method, β-carotene bleaching test, and phosphomolybdenum method. The β-ecdysone content of P. glomerata extracts was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The P. glomerata inflorescences showed the strongest DPPH radical scavenging activity and the strongest antioxidant activity in the β-carotene bleaching assay and phosphomolybdenum test. The roots showed the lowest antioxidant capacity in all of the assays. The concentration of β-ecdysone in the plant organs followed the following decreasing order: inflorescences > stems > roots. The present study showed that P. glomerata inflorescence extract had high antioxidant capacity that could be attributed to the presence of β-ecdysone.