Phenolics from monofloral honeys protect human erythrocyte membranes against oxidative damage

José M. Alvarez-Suarez, Francesca Giampieri, Ana M. González-Paramás, Elisabetta Damiani, Paola Astolfi, Gregorio Martinez-Sanchez, Stefano Bompadre, José L. Quiles, Celestino Santos-Buelga, Maurizio Battino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


The aim of the present work was to analyze the phenolic extracts from two monofloral Cuban honeys for their in vitro total antioxidant capacity, phenolic compounds content and free radical scavenging activity. The phenolic extracts, rich in lipophilic compounds, were tested further for their ability to inhibit AAPH-induced oxidative damage (hemolysis, lipid peroxidation and cytosolic depletion of reduced glutathione and decrease of superoxide dismutase activity) in erythrocytes. Results indicate an important total antioxidant capacity measured by TEAC and ORAC assays, as well as a relevant radical scavenging activity performed by EPR. Moreover, 13 phenolic compounds were identified using HPLC-LC/MS with quercetin as the most abundant flavonoid. The results also show that both extracts were able to inhibit erythrocytes oxidative damage, and that this may likely be due to their incorporation into cell membranes and their ability to cross it and reach the cytosol. In fact, flavonoid uptake by erythrocytes was further confirmed by testing quercetin, which efficiently incorporated into erythrocytes. Overall, this study indicates that honey contains relevant antioxidant compounds responsible, at least in part, for its biological activity and that uptake of its flavonoids may provide defense and promote cell functions in erythrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1508-1516
Number of pages9
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Flavonoids
  • GSH
  • Hemolysis
  • Honey
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • SOD


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenolics from monofloral honeys protect human erythrocyte membranes against oxidative damage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this