Protective effect of spices against peroxynitrite.

Po-Jung Tsai, Wan-Ju Lu, Hua-Wen Liang, and Su-Chen Ho
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Peroxynitrite, a potent cytotoxic agent, can damage a variety of biomolecules such as proteins, lipids, and DNA, is considered as the major pathological factor in several disease states. Due to the cells lack a specific enzyme to decompose peroxynitrite, the burden of defense against peroxynitrite relies solely on nonezymatic antioxidants. Therefore, it would appear likely that interception of peroxynitrite by certain food items would serve as a promising indicator for the beneficial "health effects" of such food. Spices, rich in phenolics, are speculated conceivably to act as potential peroxynitrite scavengers. The protective effects of methanol extracts derived from eight culinary spices against peroxynitrite mediated damages on proteins, lipids and DNA were determined. All of the tested spices exerted protective effect against peroxynitrite mediated tyrosine nitration, lipid peroxidation and DNA strand breakage. Cloves displayed the most excellent protection. Moreover, phenolics content of spice was highly correlated with their protective effect against peroxynitrite mediated tyrosine nitration and lipid peroxidation. These results indicated that the protective effects of spices against peroxynitrite mediated bimolecule damages were attributed to the phenolics.