Medicinal attributes of major phenylpropanoids present in cinnamon

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© 2016 The Author(s). Background: Excessive production of free radicals has been implicated in many diseases including cancer. They are highly reactive and bring about oxidation of biomolecules i.e., proteins, lipids and nucleic acids which are associated with many degenerative diseases. Natural products acting as antioxidants have ability to neutralize free radicals and their actions and hence they mitigate their harmful effects. The present study was designed to investigate pharmacological properties viz., antioxidant, antibacterial and antiproliferative activities of cinnamaldehyde and eugenol, the two naturally occurring phenylpropanoids present in Cinnamomum spp. and other plants. Methods: The antioxidant potential of test compounds was evaluated by measuring DPPH free radical scavenging, reducing power and metal ion chelating activities. Protection against membrane damage was assayed by inhibition of lipid peroxidation in rat liver homogenate. Antibacterial activity was measured by Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method while antiproliferative activity of test compounds was measured by sulforhodamine-B (SRB) assay. Results: Eugenol exhibited noticeable antioxidant potential in DPPH radical scavenging (81 %) and reducing power (1.12) assays at 1.0 μM/ml and 0.1 μM/ml concentrations, respectively. IC 50 value of eugenol for radical scavenging activity was found to be 0.495 μM/ml. Cinnamaldehyde demonstrated considerable metal ion chelating ability (75 %) at 50 μM/ml and moderate lipo-protective activity in lipid peroxidation assay at 3 μM/ml. In addition cinnamaldehyde also showed appreciable antibacterial activity (zone of inhibition 32-42 mm) against Bacillus cereus (MTCC 6840), Streptococcus mutans (MTCC 497), Proteus vulgaris (MTCC 7299), Salmonella typhi (MTCC 3917) and Bordetella bronchiseptica (MTCC 6838) while eugenol produced moderate activity at 80 μM/disc. Cinnamaldehyde exhibited comparatively better antiproliferative potential against breast (T47D) and lung (NCI-H322) cancer cell lines than eugenol in SRB assay at 50 μM concentration. Conclusion: Cinnamaldehyde possessed metal ion chelating, lipo-protective, antibacterial and antiproliferative activities while eugenol showed potent H-atom donating potential indicating radical quenching and reducing power abilities. Medicinal attributes shown by both the compounds indicated their usefulness in food and pharmaceutical sector.




Sharma, U. K., Sharma, A. K., & Pandey, A. K. (2016). Medicinal attributes of major phenylpropanoids present in cinnamon. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(1).

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