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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2012, Article ID 621579, 8 pages
Research Article

Erythrocyte Antioxidant Protection of Rose Hips (Rosa spp.)

1Department of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology Balsgård, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Fjälkestadsvägen 459, 291 94 Kristianstad, Sweden
2School of Health and Society, Kristianstad University, 291 88 Kristianstad, Sweden
3School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Received 7 March 2012; Accepted 11 May 2012

Academic Editor: Luciano Pirola

Copyright © 2012 C. Widén et al. 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.


Rose hips are popular in health promoting products as the fruits contain high content of bioactive compounds. The aim of this study was to investigate whether health benefits are attributable to ascorbic acid, phenols, or other rose-hip-derived compounds. Freeze-dried powder of rose hips was preextracted with metaphosphoric acid and the sample was then sequentially eluted on a C18 column. The degree of amelioration of oxidative damage was determined in an erythrocyte in vitro bioassay by comparing the effects of a reducing agent on erythrocytes alone or on erythrocytes pretreated with berry extracts. The maximum protection against oxidative stress, % (mean ± standard deviation), was achieved when incubating the cells with the first eluted meta-phosphoric extract. Removal of ascorbic acid from this extract increased the protection against oxidative stress to %. The protection from the 20% and 100% methanol extracts was % and %, respectively. Antioxidant uptake was confirmed by measurement of catechin by HPLC-ESI-MS in the 20% methanol extract. The fact that all sequentially eluted extracts studied contributed to protective effects on the erythrocytes indicates that rose hips contain a promising level of clinically relevant antioxidant protection.