Biological activity of carotenoids in red paprika, Valencia orange and Golden delicious apple

Péter Molnár, Masami Kawase, Kazue Satoh, Yoshitaka Sohara, Toru Tanaka, Satoru Tani, Hiroshi Sakagami, Hideki Nakashima, Noboru Motohashi, Nóra Gyémánt, Joseph Molnár

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Carotenoid fractions were extracted from red paprika, Valencia orange peel and the peel of Golden delicious apple. Thus, hypophasic carotenoids of paprika (PM1), orange (PM3) and apple (PM4), and epiphasic extractions of paprika (PM2) and apple (PM5) were obtained by extraction, saponification and partition between MeOH-H2O (9:1) (hypophasic) and hexane (epiphasic). A high content of capsanthin was quantified in hypophasic carotenoids (PM1) from red spice paprika, whereas the hypophasic fractions from orange (PM3) and apple (PM4) were mainly composed of violaxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein. On the other hand, a high content of β,β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin was found in epiphasic fractions (PM2 and PM5). The extracts were studied for their anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cytotoxic, multidrug resistance (MDR) reversal and radical scavenging activity. Among five PM extracts and β,β-carotene, PM4 showed potent anti-H. pylori activity (MIC50 = 36 μg/mL), comparable to metronidazole (MIC50 = 45 μg/mL). The extracts were inactive against HIV. PM3 and PM4 showed slightly higher cytotoxic activity against three human tumor cell lines (squamous cell carcinoma HSC-2, HSC-3, submandibular gland carcinoma HSG) and human promyelocytic leukemic HL-60 cells than against three normal human oral cells (gingival fibroblast HGF, pulp cell HPC, periodontal ligament fibroblast HPLF), suggesting a tumor-specific cytotoxic activity. PM1, PM3 and PM4 displayed much higher MDR-reversing activity than (±)-verapamil. ESR spectroscopy demonstrated that PM1-5 and β,β-carotene produced little or no detectable radical under alkaline conditions and did not scavenge the O2 produced by the hypoxanthine and xanthine oxidase reaction. On the other hand, PM1 and PM2 scavenged efficiently 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, whereas singlet oxygen was also quenched efficiently by PM5 and PM2. The data suggest the potential importance of carotenoids as possible anti-H. pylori and MDR reversal agents. The active principles in the carotenoid extract might differ, depending upon the types of fruits and vegetables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-707
Number of pages8
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2005


  • Anti-H. pylori
  • Anti-HIV
  • Apple
  • Carotenoids
  • Cytotoxic activity
  • HPLC
  • MDR
  • Orange
  • Paprika
  • Radical intensity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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    Molnár, P., Kawase, M., Satoh, K., Sohara, Y., Tanaka, T., Tani, S., Sakagami, H., Nakashima, H., Motohashi, N., Gyémánt, N., & Molnár, J. (2005). Biological activity of carotenoids in red paprika, Valencia orange and Golden delicious apple. Phytotherapy Research, 19(8), 700-707.