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Condensed tannins from Leucaena leucocephala hybrid-Rendang found to have antioxidant, antimicrobial and cytotoxic effects on human cancer cell lines

In this study, researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia investigated the biological activities of condensed tannins extracted from Leucaena leucocephala hybrid-Rendang, a tropical tree often referred to as “the miracle tree.” The results of their study were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness.

  • Condensed tannins (CTs) are considered as promising phytochemicals due to their medicinal properties.
  • For this study, researchers subjected CTs from Leucaena leucocephala hybrid-Rendang to various tests to evaluate their antioxidant, anti-microbial, and cytotoxic activities against different types of human cancer cells. These tests included:
    • 13C NMR — structural characteristics and purity
    • FRAP, DPPH, and ABTS radical scavenging assay — antioxidant capacity
    • Various microbial pathogens — anti-microbial properties
    • Cytotoxicity assay — anti-cancer properties
  • The researchers reported that the CTs exhibited high antioxidant activity in vitro. The CTs also displayed anti-microbial activity toward Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria.
  • Upon testing the CTs on human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7), human colon carcinoma (HT29), human cervical carcinoma (HeLa), and human liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines, the researchers found that CTs were most effective against MCF-7 cells.
  • They also reported that treatment with CTs caused cell shrinkage, nuclear condensation, and the formation of apoptotic bodies — all characteristics of apoptosis — in MCF-7.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that CTs can be used as an alternative treatment for various oxidative and inflammatory diseases.

Journal Reference:

Zarin MA, Wan HY, Isha A, Armania N. ANTIOXIDANT, ANTIMICROBIAL AND CYTOTOXIC POTENTIAL OF CONDENSED TANNINS FROM LEUCAENA LEUCOCEPHALA HYBRID-RENDANG. Food Science and Human Wellness. June 2016;5(2):65–75. DOI: 10.1016/j.fshw.2016.02.001

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