The antioxidant activity of aqueous spinach extract: Chemical identification of active fractions

Margalit Bergman, Lucy Varshavsky, Hugo E. Gottlieb, Shlomo Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


In previous studies we have elucidated the presence of powerful, natural antioxidants (NAO) in water extracts of spinach leaves and demonstrated their biological activity in both in vitro and in vivo systems. In the present study, the chemical identity of several of these antioxidant components is presented. Spinach leaves were extracted with water and the 20,000 g supernatant which contained the antioxidant activity was extracted with a water:acetone (1:9) solution. The 20,000 g supernatant obtained was further purified on reverse phase HPLC using C-8 semi-preparative column. Elution with 0.1% TFA resulted in five hydrophilic peaks. Elution with acetonitrile in TFA resulted in seven additional hydrophobic peaks. All the peaks were detected at 250 nm. All the fractions obtained showed antioxidant activity when tested using three different assays. Based on 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy four of the hydrophobic fractions were identified as glucuronic acid derivatives of flavonoids and three additional fractions as frans and cis isomers of p-coumaric acid and others as meso-tartarate derivatives of p-coumaric acid. The present study demonstrates for the first time the presence of both flavonoids and p-coumaric acid derivatives as antioxidant components of the aqueous extract of spinach leaves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-152
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2001


  • Antioxidants
  • Coumaric acid
  • Flavonoids
  • Spinach


Dive into the research topics of 'The antioxidant activity of aqueous spinach extract: Chemical identification of active fractions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this