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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 165127, 6 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant Capacity of Flavonoids in Hepatic Microsomes Is not Reflected by Antioxidant Effects In Vivo

Natural Products Group, Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB21 9SB, UK

Received 13 April 2012; Revised 6 June 2012; Accepted 8 June 2012

Academic Editor: Mohammad Abdollahi

Copyright © 2012 Garry Duthie and Philip Morrice. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds with potential antioxidant activity via multiple reduction capacities. Oxidation of cellular lipids has been implicated in many diseases. Consequently, this study has assessed the ability of several dietary flavonoid aglycones to suppress lipid peroxidation of hepatic microsomes derived from rats deficient in the major lipid soluble antioxidant, dα-tocopherol. Antioxidant effectiveness was galangin > quercetin > kaempferol > fisetin > myricetin > morin > catechin > apigenin. However, none of the flavonoids were as effective as dα-tocopherol, particularly at the lowest concentrations used. In addition, there appears to be an important distinction between the in vitro antioxidant effectiveness of flavonoids and their ability to suppress indices of oxidation in vivo. Compared with dα-tocopherol, repletion of vitamin E deficient rats with quercetin, kaempferol, or myricetin did not significantly affect indices of lipid peroxidation and tissue damage. Direct antioxidant effect of flavonoids in vivo was not apparent probably due to low bioavailability although indirect redox effects through stimulation of the antioxidant response element cannot be excluded.