Phenolic content, antioxidant, cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects of fractions of Vigna subterraenea (L.) verdc from Mpumalanga, South Africa
Okafor, Jane N.C.
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Consistent intake of legumes has been correlated with decreased possibility of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) due to the content of some phytochemicals like polyphenols. Bambara groundnut (BGN) is an underutilized crop with a rich nutritional profile, but have not been exploited for its nutraceutical and medicinal benefits. In this study, total polyphenol, flavonoid (flavonol and flavanol) content, antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity/anti- proliferative properties of 70% ethanolic extracts of whole BGN, cotyledon and seed coat on Caco-2 and HT-29 colon cancer cells were evaluated. Seed coat had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher composition of total poly- phenol, flavonol and flavan-3-ol (flavanol) compared to whole seed and cotyledon. Antioxidant activity deter- mined with ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), 2,2- azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays, showed that seed coat with higher polyphenolic content had significantly (p < 0.05) greater antioxidant activity. BGN fractions demonstrated cytotoxic and antiproliferative effects against HT-29 and Caco-2 colon cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner, with seed coat and whole seed exhibiting greater cytotoxicity and higher antiproliferative activity and colon cancer cell inhi- bition. Extracts of the cotyledon also showed cytotoxic activity and hindered cancer cell growth/division but to a significantly (p < 0.05) lower magnitude. BGN parts indicated a greater cytotoxic effect and potential to slow down Caco-2 colon cancer cell growth and division over HT-29. This result provides new knowledge on the possible health benefits of BGN, as well as the potential for product development and may influence its con- sumption and utilisation.