Sunday, 19 July 2015

Antioxidative and cytotoxic potential of some Chenopodium L. species growing in Poland

Open Access
Original article

Antioxidative and cytotoxic potential of some Chenopodium L. species growing in Poland

Open Access funded by King Saud University
Under a Creative Commons license


The cytotoxic and antioxidant properties of lipophilic compounds extracted from different parts of four Chenopodium L. (Chenopodiumalbum, Chenopodiumhybridum,Chenopodiumrubrum and Chenopodiumurbicum) species were evaluated. The highest phenolic content was found in herb and seeds of all examined plants. Large amounts of free polyphenols were observed in herb extracts of C. album (3.36 mg/g DW), seeds of C. urbicum (3.87 mg/g DW) and roots of C. urbicum (1.52 mg/g DW). The cytotoxic activities of the extracts were assessed against human lung carcinoma A-549 and ovarian carcinoma TOV-112D and normal human fibroblast cell lines. Our study demonstrated that the extracts from the herb of C. rubrum and C. urbicum had the best antioxidant effect of all the extracts analyzed. Most of the extracts tested exhibited low cytotoxicity. However, the extracts from herb and seeds of C. album and C. hybridum showed the significant antiproliferative effect on the TOV-112 cell line.
It can be concluded that antioxidant activity and phenolic composition differ mainly between plant parts and are quite similar between the plants, when the same plant part is analyzed. Thus, the Chenopodium extracts could be used as a readily accessible source of natural antioxidants, and may be used in the pharmaceutical industry and for food supplements production.


  • Chenopodium; 
  • Antioxidant activity; 
  • Cytotoxic activity; 
  • Polyphenols

1. Introduction

Chenopodium genus includes herbaceous, strongly fragrant annual plants and is widely spread worldwide, mainly in the moderate and subtropical zone ( El-Sayed et al., 1989). In Poland, there are 30 species of Chenopodium. The chemical composition ofChenopodium has not been fully known. Recently, four species, i.e.Chenopodiumambrosioides L., Chenopodiumalbum L., Chenopodiumrubrum L. andChenopodiumquinoa Willd. attracted special attention. The plants belonging toChenopodium are known to be a rich source of flavonoids (mainly kaempferol and quercetin glucosides), phenolic acids and terpenoids ( Gohar and Elmazar, 1997 and Repo-Carrasco-Valencia et al., 2010). Moreover, the leaves of Chenopodiumare rich in carotenoids and their seeds in proteins and fats ( Bhargava et al., 2009).
Many species of Chenopodium were reported to possess numerous medicinal properties used in folk medicine. Modern pharmaceutical research has also confirmed potent antipruritic, antibacterial antifungal and anticancer activities of these plants ( Bhargava et al., 2009, Khoobchandani et al., 2009, Baldi and Choudhary, 2013, Gawlik-Dziki et al., 2013 and Miranda et al., 2014).
These healing and usable advantages of plants from Chenopodium directed our attention to native species of this genus. The available studies of antioxidant activities in this genus are not numerous and primarily regard C. quinoa, C. album and C. ambrosioides ( Alvarez-Jubete et al., 2010).
Several assays have been frequently used to estimate antioxidant capacities in plants and their medicinal and food products. Most of the antioxidant potential of plants results from the redox properties of phenolic compounds. Antioxidant effects of polyphenols are exerted through different mechanisms. They act as reducers, have an ability to scavenge free radicals and chelate metal ions – cofactors of enzymes catalyzing oxidative reactions, inhibit oxidases, terminate radical chain reactions and stabilize free radicals (Gawlik-Dziki, 2008 and Rice-Evans et al., 1997). The content of phenolic compounds depends on plant species and on environmental conditions. Many medicinal herbs exhibiting good antioxidant activities have been employed as the source of natural antioxidants. The effectiveness of plant extracts and natural compounds of high antioxidant activity in prevention of many cancer types is well known but the use of antioxidant agents in adjunctive cancer therapy is still controversial because of conflicting findings.
The aim of this paper was to evaluate the antioxidant and cytotoxic properties of crude methanolic extracts from different parts of C. album, Chenopodiumhybridum, C. rubrumand Chenopodiumurbicum.