Oxygen free radical scavenging abilities of vitamins C and E, and a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract in vitro

Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 1997 Feb;95(2):179-89.


Proanthocyanidins, a group of polyphenolic bioflavonoids, have been reported to exhibit a wide range of biological, pharmacological and chemoprotective properties against oxygen free radicals. We have assessed the concentration-dependent oxygen free radical scavenging abilities of a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE), vitamin C and vitamin E succinate (VES) as well as superoxide dismutase, catalase and mannitol against biochemically generated superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical using a chemiluminescence assay and cytochrome c reduction. A concentration-dependent inhibition was demonstrated by GSPE. At a 100 mg/l concentration, GSPE exhibited 78-81% inhibition of superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical. Under similar conditions, vitamin C inhibited these two oxygen free radicals by approximately 12-19%, while VES inhibited the two radicals by 36-44%. The combination of superoxide dismutase and catalase inhibited superoxide anion by approximately 83%, while mannitol resulted in an 87% inhibition of hydroxyl radical. The results demonstrate that GSPE is a more potent scavenger of oxygen free radicals as compared to vitamin C and VES.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Catalase / pharmacology
  • Cytochrome c Group / metabolism
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Fruit
  • Hydroxyl Radical / metabolism
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Mannitol / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Proanthocyanidins*
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / pharmacology
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Tocopherols
  • Vitamin E / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Superoxides
  • Vitamin E
  • proanthocyanidin
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Mannitol
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Tocopherols