Immunomodulatory and antineoplastic efficacy of common spices and their connection with phenolic antioxidants

Baojun Xu, Kumar Ganesan, Suresh Mickymaray, Faiz Abdulaziz Alfaiz3, Rajarajan Thatchinamoorthi, Mohammed Saleh Al Aboody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Spices have generally offered a conventional way to avert and heal various communicable and non-communicable diseases due to their efficacy and safety and their noteworthy contribution towards understanding targeted drug action and drug delivery systems. Hence, the current investigation is designed to evaluate the immunomodulatory and antineoplastic efficacy of 15 spices that connect with the flavonoid and total polyphenol ingredients. This study includes the 15 adopted spices and their total flavonoid and polyphenol contents, cell viability assay (MTT), immunomodulatory efficacy (NO, TNF-α), and antineoplastic efficacy (using six cancer cell lines).Methods: The quantification of the flavonoid and phenolic content of methanolic extracts of 15 spices was performed by colorimetric assay. The immunomodulatory efficacy was studied according to their capacity to prevent NO and TNF-α synthesis in LPS stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Cell viability was observed using MTT colorimetric assay. Antineoplastic efficacy was determined with six cancer cell lines, namely liver (HepG2), colon (HT29), breast (MCF7), pancreas (MIA PaCa2), lung (A549) and blood (Raji). Results: The outcome of significant immunomodulatory efficacy of the spices was noted in the following sequences: Acorus calamus L.(Inhibition of NO-49.32 ± 4.29 µg/mL and TNF-α 96.35 ± 8.23 µg/mL)> Alpinia galanga Wild (Inhibition of NO-55.69 ± 5.89µg/mL and TNF-α 102.36 ± 8.96 µg/mL)> Armoracia rusticana Gaerth (Inhibition of NO-82.44 ± 5.98 µg/mL and TNF-α 115.69 ± 7.59)> Capparis spinosa L. (Inhibition of NO-127.59 ± 5.68 µg/mL and TNF-α 123.58 ± 8.56 µg/mL) > Aframomum melegueta K. Schum (Inhibition of NO-169.89 ± 6.89 µg/mL and TNF-α 144.59 ± 7.89 µg/mL). The remaining spices considerably inhibited the generation of NO and TNF-α. All spices studied exhibited highly significant antineoplastic effects against all six cell lines. Noteworthy biological activities were observed in A. calamus, A. galanga, A. rusticana, C. spinose, and A. melegueta which have bulk quantities of polyphenols.Conclusion: Based on the present findings, spices are possible candidates for novel antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic agents.Keywords: Spices; cancer cell lines; immunomodulatory; antineoplastic; total polyphenol contents
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15
JournalBioactive Compounds in Health and Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2020

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-02-23
Acknowledgements: The authors sincerely acknowledge the Dean, faculty members and technical staff in the Faculty of Medicine, Management and Science University, Malaysia who provided a great deal of support, technical assistance and cooperation in the study.


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