In vitro and in vivo studies were made with an alcohol extract of the seeds of Mucuna pruriens (Fabaceae) to investigate its antioxidant property. In vitro studies were carried out in rat liver homogenate to investigate the chemical interaction of various phytochemicals with different species of free radicals. The effect was also checked on iron-induced lipid peroxidation, oxidation of GSH content, and its interaction with hydroxyl and superoxide radicals. There was no change on the rate of aerial oxidation of GSH content but it significantly inhibited FeSO(4) induced lipid peroxidation. It also inhibited the specific chemical reactions induced by superoxides and hydroxyl radicals. The removal of these species was through direct chemical interaction. An in vivo study on albino rats for 30 days showed no toxic effect up to a dose of 600 mg/kg body weight, on oral administration. There was no change in the level of TBA-reactive substances, reduced glutathione content and SOD activity in the liver. The activity of serum GOT, GPT and alkaline phosphatase was also unchanged. Thus it could be concluded that the alcohol extract of the seeds of M. pruriens has an antilipid peroxidation property, which is mediated through the removal of superoxides and hydroxyl radicals.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.