The polyphenolic extract of Ilex latifolia (PEIL) exhibits a variety of biological activities. An evaluation of the parameters influencing the ultrasonic extraction process and the assessment of PEIL antioxidant activity are presented herein. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the experimental conditions for the polyphenols ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) from the leaves of Ilex latifolia. We identified the following optimal conditions of PEIL: ethanol concentration of 53%, extraction temperature of 60 °C, extraction time of 26 min and liquid-solid ratio of 60 mL/g. Using these parameters, the UAE had a yield of 35.77 ± 0.26 mg GAE/g, similar to the value we predicted using RSM (35.864 mg GAE/g). The antioxidant activity of PEIL was assessed in vitro, using various assays, as well as in vivo. We tested the effects of various doses of PEIL on D-galactose induced aging. Vitamin C (Vc) was used as positive control. After 21 days of administration, we measured superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in mouse serum and liver tissue. The results demonstrated that the PEIL exhibits potent radical scavenging activity against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrythydrazyl (DPPH∙), 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS+), and hydroxyl (∙OH) radicals. The serum concentrations of SOD and GSH-Px were higher, and MDA levels were lower, in the medium- and high-dose PEIL-treated groups than those in the aging group (p < 0.01), and the activity of MDA was lower than those of the model group (p < 0.01). The liver concentrations of SOD and GSH-Px were higher (p < 0.05), and MDA levels were lower, in the medium- and high-dose PEIL-treated groups than those in the aging control group (p < 0.01). These results suggest that optimizing the conditions of UAE using RSM could significantly increase the yield of PEIL extraction. PEIL possesses strong antioxidant activity and use as a medicine or functional food could be further investigated.
Keywords: Ilex latifolia; antioxidant activity; polyphenols; response surface methodology.