Degenerative ailments are serious issues in many countries globally and particularly have become the major cause of mortality in Indonesia. Usually, degenerative diseases refer to constant decline of function of cells which lead to injured tissues and even organs. These diseases are caused due to free radicals which are highly reactive molecules or atoms having one or more unpaired electrons in their external orbit1. These free radicals have the ability to react with macromolecules including proteins, lipids, carbohydrates as well as nucleic acids and consequently cause oxidative damage of particular macro-molecules. If free radicals are left undestroyed then this situation will lead to oxidative stress, which is the ultimate precursor of degenerative diseases2,3.
Defensive mechanism of human body produces many endogenous antioxidants against free radicals, but system losses its capability with declining age. Moreover, unhealthy lifestyle is also promotes the development of free radicals. Hence, exogenous antioxidants are crucial to meet with requirements of anti-oxidants2.
Accordingly, red yeast rice is fermented by Monascus purpureus yeast4 and considered as a potential source for exogenous antioxidant. It acts as an anti-hypertensive, hypo-cholesterolaemic, anti-microbial, anti-oxidative as well as anti carcinogenetic agent. The compounds present in it which act as antioxidant are dimerumic acid5, dihydromonacolin-MV, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), ankaflavin and monascin as well6.
Therefore, Hasim7 and his colleagues planned to evaluate the antioxidant activity and total phenolic as well as flavonoid content of red yeast extract and its fractionation products. In this experiment, scientists fractionated the crude ethanol extract of this particular yeast by means of organic solvents with different polarity: n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and water. Moreover, antioxidant activity was examined through 1,1-diphenyl-2 picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) as well as ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP).
At the end of this investigation ethyl acetate fraction was found to exhibit maximum total phenols, flavonoids and antioxidant activity than crude ethanol extract, n-hexane, dichloromethane and water fraction of red yeast rice. Moreover, scientists noted an association between antioxidant activity and total phenol as well as flavonoids. Conclusively, these findings will help to isolate and purify certain antioxidant compound in red yeast rice and to conduct the antioxidant activity test in vivo as well.
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23 August, 2019