Improvement of antioxidant activity of oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) with an oral pharmaceutical form
Aging-related diseases can be triggered by multiple factors such as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants, so today, compounds capable of reducing or neutralizing free radicals are being studied for a therapeutic use. Origanum vulgare L. is a traditional medicinal plant used for a wide number of health problems due to its antimicrobial, carminative and antioxidant activities. However, when administered orally, gastrointestinal digestion can modify some of therapeutical properties. To avoid this, two different solid oral formulations have been designed for an O. vulgare extract evaluating their antioxidant behaviours in vitro and in vivo after a simulation of gastrointestinal digestion. The results showed that the divided powder has a lower antioxidant activity both in vitro and in vivo than the encapsulated extract. The quantitative difference of polyphenols found on HPLC-DAD (especially luteolin, apigenin and caffeic acid) may explain the differences in pharmacological activity. Thus, we propose that the best form to administrate O. vulgare extracts to maintain the antioxidant properties is the encapsulated form, that is, two capsules of 250mg of a hydroalcoholic extract of O. vulgare with a minimum of 33 % of rosmarinic acid as a daily dose.