Garcinia kola is widely consumed habitually and used as traditional remedy for various diseases in Nigeria. However, information with respect to the effect of using different solvents of extraction on its antioxidant properties is scanty. Therefore, the present study investigates the effect of different solvents on the phytochemical constituents and antioxidant properties of G. kola. Phytochemicals measured were the total phenolics, flavonoids and vitamin C content while the antioxidant parameters assessed were the free radical scavenging, Fe (II) - chelating and Fe3+ reducing properties. Finally, the ability of both extracts to offer protective benefits to both hepatic and cerebral tissues placed under oxidative assault induced by FeSO4 and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) was also investigated. The phenolic content of G. kola was estimated to be 45.2 ± 0.9 mg/g and 30.3 ± 0.4 mg/g gallic acid equivalent (GAE) for the ethanolic and aqueous extracts, respectively. Whereas the flavonoid content was estimated to be 29.2 ± 0.2 mg/g and 10.8 ± 0.2 mg/g quercetin equivalent (QE) for the ethanolic and aqueous extracts, respectively. In addition, the vitamin C contents were 21.2 ± 0.4 mg/g and 20.8 ± 0.1 mg/g for the ethanolic and aqueous extract of dried G. kola, respectively. In all the antioxidant indices measured, the ethanolic extract possessed significantly higher properties than the aqueous extract (p < 0.05). In view of all, the use of G. kola for the treatment of cough and liver disorders in folkloric medicines may be related to its phytochemical content. Hence, moderate consumption of the fruit should be encouraged as antioxidant supplement.
Key words: Garcinia kola, antioxidant, ethanolic, aqueous and phytochemical.
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