Anti-inflammatory activity of betalain-rich dye of Beta vulgaris: effect on edema, leukocyte recruitment, superoxide anion and cytokine production

Arch Pharm Res. 2015 Apr;38(4):494-504. doi: 10.1007/s12272-014-0473-7. Epub 2014 Aug 31.


We have recently developed betalain-rich beetroot (Beta vulgaris) dye (betalain) to be used in food products. Betalain (30-300 mg/kg) intraperitoneal (i.p.) treatment diminished carrageenan (100 µg/paw)-induced paw edema and neutrophil migration to the paw skin tissue. Betalain (100 mg/kg) treatment by subcutaneous or per oral routes also inhibited the carrageenan-induced paw edema. Importantly, the post-treatment with betalain (100 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly inhibited carrageenan- and complete Freund's adjuvant (10 µl/paw)-induced paw edema. Betalain (100 mg/kg) also reduced carrageenan (500 µg/cavity)-induced recruitment of total leukocytes, including mononuclear cells and neutrophils, as well as increasing vascular permeability in the peritoneal cavity. Furthermore, betalain significantly reduced carrageenan-induced superoxide anion, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-1β levels in the peritoneal fluid, as well as augmenting IL-10 levels. Therefore, this compound presents prominent anti-inflammatory effect on carrageenan-induced paw edema and peritonitis by reducing the production of superoxide anion and the cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β, in addition to increasing IL-10 levels. These results suggest that betalain shows therapeutic potential that could be utilized in the treatment of inflammation-associated diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Beta vulgaris
  • Betalains / pharmacology
  • Betalains / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Edema / drug therapy*
  • Edema / pathology
  • Leukocytes / drug effects*
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Superoxides / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Superoxides
  • Betalains