(Batal.) Iljinskaja is a plant with nutraceutical importance since its leaves have been used historically as folk medicines for hundreds of years. The content of 10 phenolic compounds was determined throughout the growing season by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV detector, while the antioxidant activities of C. paliurus
leaf extracts were evaluated by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), 2,2′-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) diammonium salt radical cation (ABTS), and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) methods. Seasonal variations in phenolic concentration and antioxidant activity as well as linkage between the phenolic composition and antioxidant activity were assessed. A significant seasonal variation of phenolic compounds was observed in the leaves and the highest content appeared in May, July, and November. Seventy percent ethanol extract of C. paliurus
leaves possessed a good radical scavenging potency. Meanwhile, a significant correlation between antioxidant activities and contents of phenolics was detected. Results of the relationship between molecular structures and their antioxidant activities showed that both the number and configuration of H-donating hydroxyl groups are the main structural features influencing the antioxidant capacity of phenolics, while glycosylation may reduce the antioxidant capacity. The information provided by this study not only revealed the accumulative dynamics of phenolic compounds, but also established a basis for determining the optimal time for harvesting to improve the content of beneficial compounds in the leaves of C. paliurus
in the future.
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