Title page for ETD etd-06022012-142805


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Mavhungu, Nangula Paulina
URN etd-06022012-142805
Document Title Antioxidant properties and cellular protective effects of selected African green leafy vegetables
Degree PhD
Department Centre for Nutrition
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr K G Duodu Co-Supervisor
Prof M J Bester Co-Supervisor
Prof A Oelofse Supervisor
Keywords
  • antioxidant properties
  • African green leafy vegetables
  • phenolic
Date 2012-04-24
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Phenolic compounds in African green leafy vegetables (GLVs) may have a significant impact on human health. However, there is little information on the phenolic composition, antioxidant properties, as well as biological and cellular protective effects of these vegetables. The effects of boiling and extraction solvent on these compounds and on their antioxidant properties are also unknown.

Phenolic content, antioxidant activity and cellular protective effects of four African GLVs in comparison with spinach, an exotic GLV, was determined. African GLVs had appreciable levels of total phenolics and antioxidant activity and in higher quantities compared to spinach. Boiling decreased the antioxidant content and activity of these vegetables and 75% acetone was more effective in extracting antioxidants from the GLVs compared to water. GLVs with high levels of phenolics also contained higher levels of antioxidant activity, suggesting that phenolics are likely to have contributed to radical scavenging activity of these vegetable extracts, even though the degree of scavenging varied in each extract of the vegetable species.

The flavonoid compositions of raw and boiled African GLVs and spinach were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography. Epicatechin and rutin were the most dominant flavonoids found in both water and 75% acetone extracts. Among water extracts, pumpkin contained higher concentrations of detected flavonoids, while among the acetone extracts, cowpea exhibited higher concentrations. The effect of boiling was dependent on the type of vegetable and the specific flavonoids. There were no major differences observed between the type of flavonoids detected in extracts of African GLVs and those in spinach. However, similar to the results of total phenolics and antioxidant activity, the 75% acetone extracts of African GLVs also exhibited higher amounts of flavonoids than spinach.

The protective effects of GLVs against oxidative haemolysis were dependent on the type of vegetable species. Boiling had variable effects depending on the species. The highest level of protection of erythrocytes against oxidative damage was offered by amaranth extracts, while extracts of raw jute mallow contributed to the damage of erythrocytes. The highest antioxidant protection activity against oxidative damage in plasmid DNA was offered by extracts of jute mallow and lowest by spinach. Although boiling reduced the antioxidant content and activity of African GLVs, the levels remained higher than in spinach. Boiling also decreased the cytotoxicity and cell damage caused by extracts of raw GLVs samples. African GLVs are consumed after boiling, and therefore the observed cytotoxicities might not be experienced in practical terms. African GLVs have therefore a potential to reduce the risk and development of diseases associated with oxidative stress in communities that consume these vegetables.

2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Mavhungu, NP 2011, Antioxidant properties and cellular protective effects of selected African green leafy vegetables, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06022012-142805/ >

D12/4/460/ag

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