Pharmacological and Phytochemical Screening of Ephedra Alata Fruit Extracts
جامعة النجاح الوطنية
Background: During the latest year’s variety of scientific studies focusing all the time on developing new medications to fight diseases that are continuously increasing; in order to maintain the human genus and other living organisms. Discovering and screening for potential anti-obesity, anti-diabetic and antioxidant treatments from natural products still in the recent time the main goal for many of the pharmaceutical scientists. Methods: Different extract fractions have been prepared by using four solvents with several polarities for extraction of Ephedra alata fruits, then determination of natural active ingredients was followed. Finally, assessment protocols for antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-diabetes and anti-cancer were applied to evaluate the pharmacological effects of these fruits’ extracts. Results: A high content of flavonoids and phenols were observed in the methanol fraction, which reached to 98.95 ± 2.3 mg of RU/g and 33.22 ± 1.56 mg of GAE/g, respectively. As a result, the methanol fraction had significant in vitro effects, such as potent antioxidant activity, with an IC50 value of 3.09 ± 0.25 µg/mL compared to Trolox (reference compound) that had an IC50 value of 3.16 ± 0.74 µg/mL. Also, methanol fraction showed moderate activity against lipase enzyme with an IC50 value of 61.65 ± 0.50 µg/mL compared with the IC50 of orlistat (reference compound), 12.3 ± 0.35 µg/mL. In addition, the methanol fraction seemed to be the most effective one against α-amylase with an IC50 of 16.22 ± 0.6 µg/mL compared to acarbose (reference compound) which had an IC50 value of 28.2 ± 1.29 µg/mL. Finally, in the α-glucosidase inhibition assay, the methanol fraction again seemed to be the most potent fraction with an IC50 of 32.36 ± 0.63 µg/mL, which was more effective than acarbose its self with an IC50 value equal to 37.15 ± 0.33 µg/mL. In addition, the methanol extract derived from Ephedra alata fruits induced significant cytotoxicity (0.0001 ≤ p < 0.05) by approximately 94%. Conclusion: Ephedra alata fruits methanol extract fraction was rich in reducing sugars, flavonoids, phenols, alkaloids. The DPPH assay and digestive enzymes assay showed that this fraction has potent antioxidant, anti-diabetic, and anti-lipase activities, which can be an excellent candidate for biological and chemical analysis and can be further subjected for isolation of the therapeutically active compounds with anticancer potency.