JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hot Pepper (Capsicum spp.) protects brain from sodium nitroprusside- and quinolinic acid-induced oxidative stress in vitro

G Oboh, J B T Rocha
Journal of Medicinal Food 2008, 11 (2): 349-55
18598179
One practical way through which free radical-mediated neurodegenerative diseases could be prevented is through the consumption of food rich in antioxidants. The ability of aqueous extracts of ripe and unripe Capsicum annum, Tepin (CAT) and Capsicum chinese, Habanero (CCH) to prevent lipid peroxidation induced by sodium nitroprusside and quinolinic acid in rat brain in vitro is assessed in this study. The aqueous extract of the peppers were prepared (1 g/20 mL). Incubating rat brain homogenates with pro-oxidant (7 microM sodium nitroprusside [222.5%] and 1 mM quinolinic acid [217.4%]) caused a significant increase (P < .05) in lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates. However, the aqueous extract of the peppers (4.2-16.8 mg/mL) caused a significant decrease (P < .05) in the lipid peroxidation in a dose-dependent manner. However, unripe CAT (92.5-55.2%) caused the highest inhibition of sodium nitroprusside-induced lipid peroxidation, while unripe CCH caused the least inhibition (161.0-102.1%). Furthermore, unripe CAT and CCH peppers had a significantly higher (P < .05) inhibitory effect on quinolinic acid-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain than the ripe pepper (CAT and CCH). Therefore, the protection of the brain tissues by hot pepper depends on the total phenol content in sodium nitroprusside-induced lipid peroxidation, while ripening would reduce the protective properties of hot pepper against quinolinic acid-induced lipid peroxidation. However, unripe CAT has the highest protective properties against sodium nitroprusside- and quinolinic acid-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain.

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