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Techniques for Analysis of Plant Phenolic Compounds

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      Abstract

      Phenolic compounds are well-known phytochemicals found in all plants. They consist of simple phenols, benzoic and cinnamic acid, coumarins, tannins, lignins, lignans and flavonoids. Substantial developments in research focused on the extraction, identification and quantification of phenolic compounds as medicinal and/or dietary molecules have occurred over the last 25 years. Organic solvent extraction is the main method used to extract phenolics. Chemical procedures are used to detect the presence of total phenolics, while spectrophotometric and chromatographic techniques are utilized to identify and quantify individual phenolic compounds. This review addresses the application of different methodologies utilized in the analysis of phenolic compounds in plant-based products, including recent technical developments in the quantification of phenolics.

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      Dietary polyphenols and the prevention of diseases.

      Polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidants in the diet and are widespread constituents of fruits, vegetables, cereals, dry legumes, chocolate, and beverages, such as tea, coffee, or wine. Experimental studies on animals or cultured human cell lines support a role of polyphenols in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, or osteoporosis. However, it is very difficult to predict from these results the effects of polyphenol intake on disease prevention in humans. One of the reasons is that these studies have often been conducted at doses or concentrations far beyond those documented in humans. The few clinical studies on biomarkers of oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and tumor or bone resorption biomarkers have often led to contradictory results. Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown an inverse association between the risk of myocardial infarction and the consumption of tea and wine or the intake level of some particular flavonoids, but no clear associations have been found between cancer risk and polyphenol consumption. More human studies are needed to provide clear evidence of their health protective effects and to better evaluate the risks possibly resulting from too high a polyphenol consumption.
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        Plant Phenolics: Extraction, Analysis and Their Antioxidant and Anticancer Properties

        Phenolics are broadly distributed in the plant kingdom and are the most abundant secondary metabolites of plants. Plant polyphenols have drawn increasing attention due to their potent antioxidant properties and their marked effects in the prevention of various oxidative stress associated diseases such as cancer. In the last few years, the identification and development of phenolic compounds or extracts from different plants has become a major area of health- and medical-related research. This review provides an updated and comprehensive overview on phenolic extraction, purification, analysis and quantification as well as their antioxidant properties. Furthermore, the anticancer effects of phenolics in-vitro and in-vivo animal models are viewed, including recent human intervention studies. Finally, possible mechanisms of action involving antioxidant and pro-oxidant activity as well as interference with cellular functions are discussed.
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          Lignin biosynthesis and structure.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Department of Plant and Food Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; E-Mails: ali.khoddami@ 123456sydney.edu.au (A.K.); meredith.wilkes@ 123456sydney.edu.au (M.A.W.)
            Author notes
            [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: thomas.roberts@ 123456sydney.edu.au ; Tel.: +61-2-8627-1042; Fax: +61-2-8627-1099.
            Journal
            Molecules
            Molecules
            molecules
            Molecules
            MDPI
            1420-3049
            19 February 2013
            February 2013
            : 18
            : 2
            : 2328-2375
            23429347 6270361 10.3390/molecules18022328 molecules-18-02328
            © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

            This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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