Antioxidant and DNA damage protective properties of anthocyanin-rich extracts from Hibiscus and Ocimum: a comparative study

Anthocyanin extracts (AEs) from Ocimum tenuiflorum (leaf), Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (petal) and Hibiscus sabdariffa (calyx) were investigated and compared for in vitro antioxidant activity and DNA damage protective property. Total phenolic content (TPC) and total anthocyanin content (TAC) of the AEs were determined and the major anthocyanins were characterised. In vitro antioxidant activities were assessed by ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activity, 2-deoxy-d-ribose degradation assay and lipid peroxidation assay. The protective property of the AEs was also examined against oxidative DNA damage by H2O2 and UV using pUC19 plasmid. All the AEs particularly those from O. tenuiflorum demonstrated efficient antioxidant activity and protected DNA from damage. Strong correlation between antioxidant capacity and TPC and TAC was observed. Significant correlation between antioxidant capacity and TPC and TAC ascertained that phenolics and anthocyanins were the major contributors of antioxidant activity.