Cucurbits: Potential Suppliers of Antioxidants

Sandip D. Tapkir, Sayali S. Kulkarni, Surekha K. Satpute*, Madhavi M. Kapatkar


One of the necessities of a healthy life is to have adequate amounts of antioxidants in the body and neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are continuously produced in the human body, as they are essential for energy supply, detoxification, chemical signaling and immune function but their over-production due to exposure to external oxidant substances or a failure in the defense mechanisms, increases risk of different disease. Powerful antioxidants perform multiple functions essential for good health and help organisms deal with oxidative stress, caused by free radical damage.  Natural production of antioxidants in body decreases with time and age, so it becomes essential to include antioxidant rich food items in the diet. In the recent years, in the attempt to counteract the detrimental effects of oxidative damages is always more convincing the strategy of implementing the diet with antioxidants nutrients, especially deriving from natural sources. Literature survey illustrates that cucurbits like gourd, bitter gourd and cucumber are potential source of antioxidants. Thus considering the growing interest in assessing the antioxidant capacity of vegetables an attempt has been made to undertake this study to evaluate the potential of commonly edible cucurbits, as vegetables especially in Maharashtra, as a dietary suppliers of antioxidants by using the standard methods. A comparative and quantitative analysis would lead to determine the significant importance and ranking of various edible cucurbits. In the current study, Tondli has proved to be a very good dietary supplement owing to its high phenolic content, flavonoid content and reducing ability.


Antioxidants; assays; cucurbits; flavonoids; free radicals

Full Text:



Finkel T, Holbrook NJ, Oxidants, oxidative stress and the biology of ageing, Nature, 2000, 408, 239-247.

Percival M, Antioxidants, Clinical Nutrition Insights, 1998, NUT031 1/96 Rev.

Jayaprakash GK, Jena BS, Negi PS, Anandharamakrishnan C, Sakariah KK, Evaluation of antioxidant activities and antimutagenicity of turmeric oil: a byproduct from curcumin production, Z. Naturforsch, 57c, 828-835.

Gulcin I, Buyukokuroglu ME, Oktay M, Kufrevioglu OI, On the in vitro antioxidative properties of melatonin, Journal of Pineal Research, 2002, 33, 167–171.

Bahorun T, Soobratte MA, Luximon-Ramma V, Aruoma OI, Free radicles and antioxidants in cardiovascular health and disease, Internet Journal of Medical Update, 2006, 1(2), 25-41.

Pellegrini N, Serafini M, Colombi B, Rio DD, Salvatore S, Bianchi M, Brighenti F, Total antioxidant capacity of plant foods,beverages and oils consumed in Italy assessed by three different in vitro assays, J Nutr, 2003, 133, 2812-2819.

Halvorsen BL, Holte K, Myhrstad MCW, Barikmo I, Hvattum E, Remberg SF, Wold AB, Haffner K, Baugerød H, Andersen LF, Moskaug JO, Jacobs DR, Blomhoff R, A Systematic Screening of Total Antioxidants in Dietary Plants, J Nutr, 2002, 461-471.

Ene-OjoAtawodi S, Onaolapo GS, Comparative in vitro antioxidant potential of different parts of Ipomoea asarifolia, Roemer & Schultes, Guiera senegalensis, J. F. Gmel and Anisopus mannii N. E. Brown, Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2010, 46, 245-250.

Al-Shaheen SJA, Kaskoos RA, Hamad KJ, Ahamad J, In-vitro antioxidant and α-amylase inhibition activity of Cucurbita maxima, Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, 2013, 2(2), 121-124.

Stanković MS, Total phenolic content, flavonoids concentration and antioxidant activity of Marrubium peregrinum L. extracts, Kragujevac J. Sci, 2011, 33, 63-72.

Pal R, Girhepunje K, Shrivastav N, Hussain MM, Thirumoorthy N, Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of ethanolic extract of Morinda citrifolia, Annals of Biological Research, 2011, 2 (1), 127-131.

Singleton VL, Orthofer R, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Methods Enzymol, 1999, 299, 152-178.

Lim YY, Lim TT, Tee JJ, Antioxidant properties of several tropical fruits: A comparative study, Food Chemistry, 2007, 103, 1003–1008.

Batool F, Sabir SM, Rocha JBT, Shah AH, Saify ZS, Ahmed SD, Evaluation of antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities of fruit extract from Zanthoxylum alatum: a commonly used spice from Pakistan, Pak. J. Bot., 2010, 42(6), 4299-4311.

Chang CC, Yang MH, Wen HM, Chern JC, Estimation of Total Flavonoid Content in Propolis by Two Complementary Colorimetric Methods, Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, 2002, 10(3), 178-182.

Ceron-Garcia A, Gonzalez-Aguilar GA, Vargas-Arispuro I, Islas-Osuna MA, Martinez-Tellez MA, Oligoglucans as Elicitors of an Enzymatic Antioxidant System in Zucchini Squash (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seedlings at Low Temperature, American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 2011, 6(1), 52-61.

Dubey SD, Overview on Cucurbita maxima, International Journal of Phytopharmacy, 2012, 2 (3), 68-71.

Attarde DL, Kadu SS, Chaudhari BJ, Kale SS, Bhamber RS, In vitro Antioxidant activity of Pericarp of Cucurbita maxima Duch. ex Lam, International Journal of PharmTech Research, 2010, 2(2), 1533-1538.

Nara K, Yamaguchi A, Maeda N, Koga H, Antioxidative activity of water soluble polysaccharide in pumkin fruits (Cucurbita maxima Duchesne), Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem, 2009, 73(6), 1416-1418.

Copyright (c) 2013 Annals of Plant Sciences

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.