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Carotenoids: Experimental Ionization Energies and Capacity at Inhibiting Lipid Peroxidation in a Chemical Model of Dietary Oxidative Stress

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journal contribution
posted on 17.05.2018, 00:00 by Pascale Goupy, Michel Carail, Alexandre Giuliani, Denis Duflot, Olivier Dangles, Catherine Caris-Veyrat
Carotenoids are important natural pigments and micronutrients contributing to health prevention by several mechanisms, including their electron-donating (antioxidant) activity. In this work, a large series of carotenoids, including 11 carotenes and 14 xanthophylls, have been investigated by wavelength-resolved atmospheric pressure photoionization mass spectrometry (DISCO line of SOLEIL synchrotron), thus allowing the experimental determination of their ionization energy (IE) for the first time. On the other hand, the carotenoids have been also investigated for their ability to inhibit the heme iron-induced peroxidation of linoleic acid in mildly acidic micelles, a simple but relevant chemical model of oxidative stress in the gastric compartment. Thus, the carotenoids can be easily classified from IC50 concentrations deduced from the time dependence of the lipid hydroperoxide concentration. With a selection of two carotenes and three xanthophylls a quantitative analysis is also provided to extract stoichio-kinetic parameters. The influence of the carotenoid structure (number of conjugated carbon–carbon double bonds, presence of terminal six-membered rings, hydroxyl, keto, and/or epoxy groups) on the IE, IC50, and stoichio-kinetic parameters is discussed in details. The data show that the antioxidant activity of carotenes is well correlated to their electron-donating capacity, which itself largely depends on the length of the conjugated polyene chain. By contrast, the IE of xanthophylls is poorly correlated to the polyene chain length because of the strong, and sometimes unexpected, electronic effects of the O-atoms. Although IE remains an approximate predictor of the antioxidant activity of xanthophylls, other factors (interaction with the aqueous phase, competing radical-scavenging mechanisms, the residual activity of the antioxidant’s oxidation products) probably play a significant role.