An investigation of the antioxidant power of four commonly used Chinese herbs and their genoprotective effects

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An investigation of the antioxidant power of four commonly used Chinese herbs and their genoprotective effects

 

Author: Leung, Kit-yu Linda
Title: An investigation of the antioxidant power of four commonly used Chinese herbs and their genoprotective effects
Year: 2004
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Herbs -- China -- Therapeutic use
Ginkgo -- Therapeutic use
Ginseng -- Therapeutic use
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: viii, 112 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1781171
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/555
Abstract: An investigation of the antioxidant power of four commonly used Chinese herbs and their genoprotective effects Chinese herbs have been used for thousands of years to cure diseases and to promote health when consumed regularly. Dong Quai, Gingko, Ginseng and Kei Tze are four commonly used Chinese herbs in our local community. Their health benefits are based on experience, and passed on from generations to generations. However, the ingredients promoting health are unknown. Also, there was not much scientific data on the effects or ingredients of the herbs. Antioxidants are reported to be beneficial to health and to have a protective effect against DNA damage. In this study, decoctions of the four herbs, Dong Quai, Gingko, Ginseng and Kei Tze, were investigated for their antioxidant power, using the FRAP assay, individually and in dual-herb combinations. Their genoprotective effect on lymphocyte DNA ex vivo was studied using the comet assay. Finally, hydrogen peroxide generated by the herbal decoctions was determined by a colorimetric method. It was found that Dong Quai and Kei Tze have higher antioxidant level than Gingko and Ginseng. The measured antioxidant power of two herb extracts was different from the theoretical calculated antioxidant power of two herbs. The Dong Quai and Kei Tze extracts at a concentration of 0.01% showed positive genoprotective effect on the lymphocytes DNA ex vivo, whereas the Gingko and Ginseng extracts at a concentration of 0.05% has no apparent genoprotective effect. Hydrogen peroxide was not found in 0.1% or 0.5% Dong Quai extracts but was present in 0.5% Gingko extracts, 0.1% and 0.5% Ginseng extracts, 0.1% and 0.5% Kei Tze extracts. The results show that antioxidants were present in the four herbs in different amount. The Dong Quai and Kei Tze extracts, which had higher level of antioxidants, showed some genoprotective effect against lymphocyte DNA damage. Hence, one of the potential mechanisms of the health benefits of Dong Quai and Kei Tze may be genoprotection. However, the presence of hydrogen peroxide in some of the herb extracts (Gingko, Ginseng and Kei Tze) has shown that potentially damaging components may be present in the herbs. Further study of the components in the herbs and their in vivo effects is required.

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