Author(s): K. Nadhiya* and K. Vijayalakshmi
Oxygen is an element obligatory for life. Biological combustion produces harmful intermediates called free radicals. Free radicals causes damage to the cells, inspite of the body possessing defense mechanisms like enzyme and antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge the free radicals that are produced in the body and their levels are depleted. Hence there is a need for new antioxidants from plant sources. So the present study was designed to investigate phytochemicals quantitatively and antioxidant activity of Benincasa hispida fruit extracts. Ethyl acetate, ethanol and aqueous extract of Benincasa hispida fruit was subjected to quantitative analysis for total phenols, total flavonoids, total antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity by various methods like DPPH, Nitric oxide, Superoxide, Hydroxyl radicals and Hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity and reducing capacity. All the extracts showed significant activities in all the assays compared to the standard antioxidant BHT in a dose dependent manner. IC50 value for each radical was calculated. The results showed that ethanolic extract of Benincasa hispida had high amounts of phenols, flavonoids and had better scavenging capacity. Benincasa hispida fruit extracts significantly inhibited super oxide anion radicals compared to other radicals. The IC50 value for super oxide anion radical for ethanol extract was 128±1.91µg/ml, ethyl acetate extract was 184±1.29µg/ml and for aqueous extract was found to be 271±1.89 µg/ml. So Benincasa hispida fruit was found to be a good source of many natural antioxidant compounds. Hence it could be considered as alternate antioxidant.