Inhibition of Endothelial Cell-Mediated Oxidation of Low-Density Lipoprotein by Rosemary and Plant Phenolics

Debra A. Pearson, Edwin N. Frankel, Robert Aeschbach, J. Bruce German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Plant-derived phenolic compounds possess antioxidant activity that may be applicable to such diverse areas as human health and the preservation of food lipids. The potential antioxidant activities of a variety of plant phenolics were investigated using human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC) to mediate the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Carnosic acid, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid, present in rosemary extract, and thymol, carvacrol, and zingerone, present in thyme, origanum, and ginger, were individually incubated with HAEC and LDL for 12 h. The extent of oxidation was determined spectrophotometrically by measuring absorbance (at 234 nm) of conjugated dienes. All antioxidants produced dose-dependent inhibition of LDL oxidation. Their relative antioxidant activities decreased in the order carnosol > carnosic acid ≈ rosmarinic acid >>> thymol > carvacrol > zingerone. The antioxidant activity of these plant phenolics in the HAEC system suggests that they may have potential benefits in human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-582
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997


  • Antioxidants
  • Human aortic endothelial cells
  • LDL oxidation
  • Plant phenolics
  • Rosemary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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