Phytochemicals and In Vitro Bioactivities of Aqueous Ethanolic Extracts from Common Vegetables in Thai Food

Plants (Basel). 2021 Jul 29;10(8):1563. doi: 10.3390/plants10081563.


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading global cause of death. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the consumption of fruits and vegetables because they are rich in phytochemicals that sustainably ameliorate the occurrence of NCDs. Thai food contains many spices and vegetables with recognized health benefits. Quality control of plant samples encountered a bottleneck in the field and comparative studies of plant control origins including species or cultivar identification, growing area and appropriate harvesting time are limited. To address this issue, all plant samples used in this study were cultivated and controlled by the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand. The samples were phytochemically screened and determined their health-promoting bioactivities via antioxidant activities and inhibition of NCD-related enzymes including lipase (obesity), α-amylase and α-glucosidase (diabetes), angiotensin-converting enzyme (hypertension), as well as acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and β-secretase (Alzheimer's disease). The non-enzymatic reaction toward glycation was also evaluated. The results showed that Senegalia pennata subsp. insuavis (Lace) Maslin, Seigler & Ebinger, Citrus hystrix DC. and Solanum melongena 'Kermit' extracts exhibited high antioxidant activities. Moreover, Citrus hystrix DC. extract was a potent inhibitor against lipase, angiotensin-converting enzyme and butyrylcholinesterase, while Coriandrum sativum L. and Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC. were potent anti-diabetic agents and Senegalia pennata subsp. insuavis (Lace) Maslin, and Seigler & Ebinger was a potent anti-glycation agent. Our data provide a comparative analysis of ten vegetables to encourage healthy food consumption and development to control NCDs in Thailand in the future.

Keywords: antioxidant activities; enzyme inhibitory activities; in vitro health properties; non-communicable diseases; phenolics; vegetables.