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Issue 3, 2015
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Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts – identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds

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Abstract

Chronic inflammation is a contributing factor in many age-related diseases. In a previous study, we have shown that Sri Lankan cinnamon (C. zeylanicum) was one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods out of 115 foods tested. However, knowledge about the exact nature of the anti-inflammatory compounds and their distribution in the two major cinnamon species used for human consumption is limited. The aim of this investigation was to determine the anti-inflammatory activity of C. zeylanicum and C. cassia and elucidate their main phytochemical compounds. When extracts were tested in LPS and IFN-γ activated RAW 264.7 macrophages, most of the anti-inflammatory activity, measured by down-regulation of nitric oxide and TNF-α production, was observed in the organic extracts. The most abundant compounds in these extracts were E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxycinnamaldehyde. The highest concentration of E-cinnamaldehyde was found in the DCM extract of C. zeylanicum or C. cassia (31 and 34 mg g−1 of cinnamon, respectively). When these and other constituents were tested for their anti-inflammatory activity in RAW 264.7 and J774A.1 macrophages, the most potent compounds were E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxycinnamaldehyde, which exhibited IC50 values for NO with RAW 264.7 cells of 55 ± 9 μM (7.3 ± 1.2 μg mL−1) and 35 ± 9 μM (5.7 ± 1.5 μg mL−1), respectively; and IC50 values for TNF-α of 63 ± 9 μM (8.3 ± 1.2 μg mL−1) and 78 ± 16 μM (12.6 ± 2.6 μg mL−1), respectively. If therapeutic concentrations can be achieved in target tissues, cinnamon and its components may be useful in the treatment of age-related inflammatory conditions.

Graphical abstract: Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts – identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds

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Article information


Submitted
30 Jul 2014
Accepted
18 Jan 2015
First published
19 Jan 2015

Food Funct., 2015,6, 910-919
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts – identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds

D. Gunawardena, N. Karunaweera, S. Lee, F. van Der Kooy, D. G. Harman, R. Raju, L. Bennett, E. Gyengesi, N. J. Sucher and G. Münch, Food Funct., 2015, 6, 910
DOI: 10.1039/C4FO00680A

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