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Published: Kem. Ind. 60 (9) (2011) 441–445
Paper reference number: KUI-29/2010
Paper type: Professional paper
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Isolation of Active Substances from the Seeds of the Milk Thistle Plant (Silybum marianum) and Determination of Antioxidant Activity

D. Gašo-Sokač, S. Kovač and V. Bušić


Isolation of silymarin, a mixture of well-defined flavonolignans, from the seeds of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) was achieved. Silymarin was extracted from defatted seed with acetone without heating; the yield was Y = 4.1 %. The antioxidant activity of silymarin was determined at ambient temperature by means of a 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) colorimetry with a detection scheme at λ = 515 nm. The activity was evaluated by the decrease in absorbance as the result of a DPPH radical color change from purple to yellow. The results obtained showed that ascorbic acid was a substantially more powerful antioxidant than silymarin, but silymarin was a significantly stronger quencher of DPPH radical than the standard silibinin.

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silymarin, silibinin, DPPH radical scavenging, antioxidant activity