Bioactivity of different enriched phenolic extracts of wild fruits from Northeastern Portugal: a comparative study

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2014 Mar;69(1):37-42. doi: 10.1007/s11130-013-0394-5.


Arbutus unedo, Prunus spinosa, Rosa micrantha and Rosa canina are good sources of phenolic compounds, including anthocyanins. These compounds have potent antioxidant properties, which have been related to anticancer activity. Herein, the in vitro antioxidant and antitumor properties of enriched phenolic extracts (non-anthocyanin phenolic compounds enriched extract- PE and anthocyanins enriched extract- AE) of the mentioned wild fruits were evaluated and compared. PE gave higher bioactive properties than the corresponding AE. It was observed a high capacity of A. unedo phenolic extract to inhibit lipid peroxidation in animal brain homogenates (EC50 = 7.21 μg/mL), as also a high antitumor potential against NCI-H460 human cell line (non-small lung cancer; GI50 = 37.68 μg/mL), which could be related to the presence of galloyl derivatives (exclusively found in this species). The bioactivity of the studied wild fruits proved to be more related to the phenolic compounds profile than to the amounts present in each extract, and could be considered in the design of new formulations of dietary supplements or functional foods.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Ericaceae / chemistry*
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Portugal
  • Prunus / chemistry*
  • Rosa / chemistry*
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts