Various species of berries have been reported to contain several polyphenolic compounds, such as anthocyanins and flavonols, which are known to possess high antioxidant activity and may be beneficial for human health. To our knowledge, a thorough chemical analysis of polyphenolics in species of these plants native to Newfoundland, Canada has not been conducted. The primary objective of this study was to determine the polyphenolic compounds present in commercial extracts from Newfoundland berries, which included blueberries (V. angustifolium
), lingonberries (V. vitis-idaea
) and black currant (Ribes lacustre
). Anthocyanin and flavonol glycosides in powdered extracts from Ribes lacustre
and the Vaccinium
species were identified using the high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separation method with mass spectrometric (MS) detection. The identified compounds were extracted from dried berries by various solvents via ultrasonication followed by centrifugation. A reverse-phase analytical column was employed to identify the retention time of each chemical component before submission for LC–MS analysis. A total of 21 phenolic compounds were tentatively identified in the three species. Further, we tested the effects of the lingonberry extract for its ability to protect neurons and glia from trauma utilizing an in vitro model of cell injury. Surprisingly, these extracts provided complete protection from cell death in this model. These findings indicate the presence of a wide variety of anthocyanins and flavonols in berries that grow natively in Newfoundland. These powdered extracts maintain these compounds intact despite being processed from berry fruit, indicating their potential use as dietary supplements. In addition, these recent findings and previous data from our lab demonstrate the ability of compounds in berries to protect the nervous system from traumatic insults.
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