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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695X

Abstract

GUARATINI, Thais et al. Antioxidant activity and chemical composition of the non polar fraction of Gracilaria domingensis (Kützing) Sonder ex Dickie and Gracilaria birdiae (Plastino & Oliveira). Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.4, pp. 724-729.  Epub May 15, 2012. ISSN 0102-695X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-695X2012005000063.

Gracilaria domingensis (Kützing) Sonder ex Dickie and Gracilaria birdiae (Plastino & Oliveira) (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta) are seaweeds that occur on the Brazilian coast. Based on their economic and pharmaceutical importance, we investigated the antioxidant activity of the methanolic, ethyl acetate and hexane extracts of both species. The hexane extracts display a high antioxidant activity and comparative analyses indicated G. birdiae as the most active species. Chemical investigation of these fractions showed several carotenoids and fatty acids, as well as cholesterol and sitosterol derivatives. HPLC-DAD analysis of G. birdiae showed violaxanthin (0.04 μg.mg-1 of dry material), antheraxanthin (5.31 μg.mg-1), aloxanthin (0.09 μg.mg-1), zeaxanthin (0.45 μg.mg-1) and β-carotene (0.37 μg.mg-1) as the major carotenoids. G. domingensis showed a similar carotenoid profile, however, with much lower concentration than G. birdiae. Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry was used to determine other nonpolar compounds of these seaweeds. The main compounds detected in both studied species were the fatty acids 16:0; 18:1 Δ9; 20:3 Δ6,9,12, 20:4 Δ5,8,11,14. We found no specificity of compounds in either species. However, G. birdiae, presented higher contents of carotenoids and arachidonic acid than G. domingensis.

Keywords : Gracilaria domingensis; Gracilaria birdiae; Rhodophyta; Carotenoids; antioxidant activity; fatty acids.

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