Antioxidant Activity of Abigenol® European silver fir (Abies alba) bark extract
Extracts from the bark of different conifer species are known to contain various polyphenols and possess interesting pharmacological activities. So far the most extensive research was done on the antioxidative extract of the maritime pine (Pinus maritima) bark, which is widely used in food supplements and cosmetic products. Here we have shown, that antioxidant activity of silver fir (Abies alba) bark extract is higher than of maritime pine bark extract in cultured cells.
Abigenol samples exhibited significantly better antioxidative properties in the cell-based assay compared to the maritime pine bark extract. Dry extract (d-AABE) exhibited even higher antioxidant activity than the extract prepared in PEG, which is mostly due to the absence of PEG and consequently higher concentration of antioxidative phytochemicals. Antioxidant activity of Abigenol measured in the cell-free assay by the DPPH method was 91% higher compared to the maritime pine bark extract.
The present study provides evidence for Abigenol as a rich source of at least 13 natural antioxidants which have attracted increasing attention in the field of nutrition, health and medicine. Abigenol is therefore recognized as a powerful antioxidative agent, useful in the preventive treatment of various conditions, placing it side by side with other widely researched conifer extracts.
Silver fir (Abies alba) rich in polyphenols helps against atherogenesis
Atherosclerosis is the major precursor of cardiovascular disease and is a chronic inflammatory process in arterial walls that is caused by the accumulation of macrophages and low-density lipoproteins. Atherosclerosis is characterized by elevated total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The condition is a chronic disease that can remain asymptomatic for decades and that can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. Strong evidence indicates that the inﬂammation of the blood vessel intima is caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS), which form upon oxidative stress. This response represents a state of imbalance between the production and elimination of free radicals that, in excessive quantities, damage tissues. In addition to pollution, smoking, exercise deﬁciency and stress, one of the ma-jor causative factors of atherosclerosis is a Western-type diet rich in saturated fats and poor in ﬁber and antioxidants (Miller et al. 2013).
Results: Compared to the basic diet, the atherogenic diet decreased the ability of the aorta to relax by 63% (p < 0.001). The addition of silver fir tree extract (SFTE) to the atherogenic diet improved the aorta relaxation response compared to that of the atherogenic diet without SFTE (the decrease relative to the basic diet was 26%, p < 0.001). The aorta contractility did not differ between the groups. The SFTE group generated signiﬁcantly fewer atherosclerotic plaques than did the atherogenic group. The areas of atherosclerotic plaques were 7.4, 0.3 and 1.6% in the aortas of guinea pigs receiving atherogenic, basic or atherogenic + SFTE diets, respectively.
Conclusions: In a guinea pig model, prolonged treatment with antioxidative polyphenol-rich SFTE prevents aortic functional and morphological changes caused by an atherogenic diet.