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Molecules 2011, 16(3), 2191-2217; doi:10.3390/molecules16032191
Review

Tannins of Constant Structure in Medicinal and Food Plants—Hydrolyzable Tannins and Polyphenols Related to Tannins

1,*  and 2
1 Emeritus Professor, Okayama University, Tsushima-naka, Okayama 700, Japan 2 Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tsushima-naka, Okayama 700, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 January 2011 / Revised: 24 February 2011 / Accepted: 28 February 2011 / Published: 4 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tannins)
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Abstract

In addition to the commonly used classification as hydrolyzable tannins and condensed tannins, tannins can also be categorized into two other types: polyphenols of constant chemical structure (Type A) and polyphenols of variable composition (Type B). Both types of tannins and related polyphenols account for a large part of plant polyphenols, but accurate structure-activity correlations on a molecular basis can be determined mainly for type A compounds, among which are hydrolysable tannins such as the ellagitannins and their oxidized congeners, some gallotannins, epigallocatechin gallate, caffetannins, etc. Among the activities determined on a molecular basis are the chemical, biological and pharmacological actions such as superoxide anion scavenging, apoptosis, antitumor, anti-EVB, anti-MRSA and anti-plasmin inhibitory activities, etc., in addition to their fundamental activities, i.e., binding to proteins, large molecular compounds and metallic ions, and antioxidant activities. Some structure-specific activities were found for the condensation of dehydroellagitannins with co-existing compounds under mild conditions, and the host-mediated antitumor actions of ellagitannin oligomers. Structures and activities of metabolites of geraniin, a dehydroellagitannin, were revealed. Some stilbenoids and phlorotannins of firm structures have been known to have many activities similar to those of the type A tannins.
Keywords: tannin and polyphenol; type A tannin; type B tannin; classification; biological and pharmacological properties tannin and polyphenol; type A tannin; type B tannin; classification; biological and pharmacological properties
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Okuda, T.; Ito, H. Tannins of Constant Structure in Medicinal and Food Plants—Hydrolyzable Tannins and Polyphenols Related to Tannins. Molecules 2011, 16, 2191-2217.

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