Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of a flavonoid-rich concentrate recovered from Opuntia ficus-indica juice

A. Matias, S. L. Nunes, J. Poejo, E. Mecha, A. T. Serra, Paulo J Amorim Madeira, M. R. Bronze, C. M M Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, Opuntia ficus indica juice was explored as a potential source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients towards intestinal inflammation. An adsorption separation process was used to produce a natural flavonoid-rich concentrate (FRC) from Opuntia ficus-indica juice. The FRC effect (co- or pre-incubation) on induced-oxidative stress and induced-inflammation was evaluated in human Caco-2 cells. The main constituents identified and present in the extract are flavonoids (namely isorhamnetins and their derivatives such as isorhamnetin 3-O-rhamnose-rutinoside and isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside) and phenolic acids (such as ferulic, piscidic and eucomic acids). Our results showed that co-incubation of FRC with the stress-inducer attenuates radicals production in a much more significant manner than pre-incubation. These results suggest that FRC compounds which cannot pass the cell membrane freely (isorhamnetin derivatives) have an ability to inhibit the formation of H2O2-induced radicals in the surrounding environment of intestinal epithelial cells. The capacity of FRC (co-incubation) for suppressing (at the extracellular level) free radicals chain initiation or propagation reaction was probably related with a more pronounced reduction in protein oxidation. A similar response was observed in the inflammatory state, where a marked decrease in IL-8 secretion and blocked degradation of IκBα was achieved for FRC co-incubation. Simultaneously, treatment with FRC significantly reduces NO and TNF-α expression and modulates apparent permeability in Caco-2 cells. In these cases, no significant differences were found between pre- and co-incubation treatments suggesting that bioavailable phenolics, such as ferulic, eucomic and piscidic acids and isorhamnetin, act at the intracellular environment. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3269-3280
Number of pages12
JournalFood and Function
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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