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Anti-inflammatory effect of the medicinal herbal mixture infusion, Horchata, from southern Ecuador against LPS-induced cytotoxic damage in RAW 264.7 macrophages

Guevara, Mabel, Tejera, Eduardo, Iturralde, Gabriel A., Jaramillo-Vivanco, Tatiana, Granda-Albuja, María G., Granja-Albuja, Silvana, Santos-Buelga, Celestino, González-Paramás, Ana M., Álvarez-Suarez, José M.
Food and chemical toxicology 2019 v.131 pp. 110594
anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, bioactive compounds, carotenoids, chlorogenic acid, cytokines, cytotoxicity, enzymes, glycosides, heat treatment, macrophages, polyphenols, protective effect, quercetin, toxicology, Ecuador
The phytochemical composition and the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of a mixture of 23 plants, named Horchata, traditionally consumed in Ecuador, have been evaluated. The study was carried out using the hydroalcoholic extract (HHext) and infusion (IHext) of the horchata plant mixture. It was verified that thermal treatment affected the contents of vitamin C and carotenoids, but hardly those of polyphenols, which would be the main bioactive compounds in the infusion, the common form of preparation of horchata for consumption. Among phenolic compounds, caffeoylquinic acids, flavones and flavonols (mostly quercetin glycosides) were prominent. Both HHext and IHext extracts managed to protect RAW 264.7 macrophages against LPS-induced cytotoxic damage, increasing the levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes and modulating the production of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Greater protective effects were obtained for HHext compared to IHext, which was in agreement with its higher content of phenolic compounds favoured by a more efficient extraction in the hydroalcoholic medium. Nonetheless, the infusion still maintained a significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, which would support the protective effects on health traditionally attributed to its consumption by the population.