Biological activities of selected polyphenol-rich fruits related to immunity and gastrointestinal health
Small fruits are a rich source of bioactive substances, including polyphenols, and are therefore suitable raw materials for the production of functional foods. In the current work, we studied the antioxidative properties of six fruits: rosehip, chokeberry, hawthorn, blackcurrant, blueberry and rowanberry via different methods (ORAC, TRAP, HORAC and inhibition of lipid peroxidation). Their effect on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by phagocytes, antimicrobial properties against 11 human pathogens, and mitogenic effect on hamster spleen lymphocytes were also tested. Rosehip extract showed the highest antioxidant activity via ORAC, TRAP and HORAC assays, whereas blueberry extract was the most potent inhibitor of lipid peroxidation. All extracts inhibited ROS production of opsonized zymosan-activated phagocytes, indicating that extracts interfere with the signaling cascade of phagocyte activation upstream to the protein kinase C activation. Chokeberry, blackcurrant and rowanberry extracts revealed strong antimicrobial properties against a broad spectrum of microorganisms and also had the highest mitogenic activity. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.