Antioxidant activities of pomegranate fruit extract and its anthocyanidins: delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin

J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jan 2;50(1):166-71. doi: 10.1021/jf0108765.


Antioxidant activities of freeze-dried preparations of a 70% acetone extract of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) and its three major anthocyanidins (delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin) were evaluated. Free radical scavenging activities were examined using an ESR technique with spin trapping; DMPO for hydroxyl (.OH) and superoxide (O(2)(.-) ) radicals; and [(MGD)(2)Fe(2+)] for nitric oxide (NO). Inhibitory effects on lipid peroxidation were estimated by the levels of malonaldehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenals in rat brain homogenates. Pomegranate extract exhibited scavenging activity against.OH and O(2)(.-). Anthocyanidins inhibited a Fenton reagent.OH generating system possibly by chelating with ferrous ion. Anthocyanidins scavenged O(2)(.)- in a dose-dependent manner. The ID(50) values of delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin were 2.4, 22, and 456 microM, respectively. In contrast, anthocyanidins did not effectively scavenge NO. Anthocyanidins inhibited H(2)O(2)-induced lipid peroxidation in the rat brain homogenates. The ID(50) values of delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin for them were 0.7, 3.5, and 85 microM, respectively. These findings suggest that the above anthocyanidins contribute to the antioxidant activity of pomegranate fruits.

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / metabolism*
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Hydroxyl Radical / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Onagraceae / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Superoxides / metabolism


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Superoxides
  • Hydroxyl Radical