Flavonoid-packed orange peel extract protects intestines against alcohol-induced damage

By Cheryl Tay

- Last updated on GMT

Flavonoids in orange peel extract were found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. ©iStock
Flavonoids in orange peel extract were found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. ©iStock

Related tags Antioxidant

A superior from of orange peel extract from Xinhui, China — called nchenpi — could help to prevent alcohol-induced intestinal dysfunction, a new study has found.

Nchenpi​ contains 20 times more flavonoids than the conventional peel extract sourced from Guangxi, which is commonly called chenpi.

Taken from a specific variety of mandarin orange, nchenpi​’s high concentrations of the flavonoids nobiletin and tangeritin in particular were found to be able to prevent alcohol-induced intestinal dysfunction.

The study stated that excessive exposure to ethanol can cause oxidative stress, as well as abnormal bacterial leakage in the intestine. It has previously been found that flavonoids from foods can strengthen the intestinal epithelial monolayer, which defends against toxins and pathogens.

Researchers found that in in vitro tests both chenpi ​and nchenpi​ prevented intestinal leakage and increased glutathione reductase activity — which works to resist oxidative stress — in cells exposed to alcohol.

Greater benefits

However, the difference in flavonoid composition in the different types of orange peel extract meant that nchenpi​ was associated with greater anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential.

As such, the study attributed the “relatively greater affinity of Xinhui”​ orange peel extract to enhance glutathione reductase activity and reduce alcohol-induced oxidative stress to its specific flavonoid composition.

The study concluded that orange peel extract was “not cytotoxic, but prevented membrane leakage”​ and increased glutathione reductase activity when cells were exposed to ethanol.

Orange peel extract from Xinhui, therefore, may be “a useful nutraceutical to prevent intestinal barrier dysfunction caused by alcohol," ​the paper concluded.

Source: Food and Chemical Toxicology


“Flavonoid composition of orange peel extract ameliorates alcohol-induced tight junction dysfunction in Caco-2 monolayer”

Authors: Xiu-Min Chen, David D. Kitts

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