Isolation, Identification, and Pharmacological Activity of Phytochemicals Present in Litchi chinensis
Litchi fruit pericarp (LFP) tissues constitute about 15% of total weight of the entire fresh fruit and have tremendous quantities of flavonoids, especially flavonols and anthocyanins. The major flavonols in LFP are procyanidin B4, procyanidin B2 and epicatechin, while cyanindin-3-rutinoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, quercetin-3-rutinoside and quercetin-3-glucoside have been identified as important anthocyanins. A few genes are responsible for anthocyanin accumulation in LFP. Litchi flavonoids exhibit good anti-oxidant activity. Furthermore, LFP extract displays a dose- and time-dependent inhibitory effect on human breast cancers, which may be attributed, in part, to its inhibition of proliferation and induction of cancer cell apoptosis through up- and down regulation of more than one gene. It is suggested that flavonoids from LFP play a crucial role as additives for functional foods and anti-breast-cancer drugs. This review discusses the current knowledge of phytochemicals present in LFP and the medicinal benefits of litchi seed extract.
KeywordsAnthocyanins Flavonoids Litchi chinensis Litchi fruit pericarp (LFP) LC-MS NMR
The authors are grateful to the Puri Foundation, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, for its support.
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