Quercetin is a typical antioxidative flavonoid found in vegetables, which is more commonly present as its glucosides, quercetin-3-glucoside (Q3G) and quercetin-4'-glucoside (Q4'G). The main aim of this study was to estimate the antioxidant activity of Q3G and Q4'G on iron ion-driven lipid peroxidation of the gastrointestinal mucosa. Q4'G markedly suppressed the lipid peroxidation when rat gastrointestinal mucosa homogenates were incubated with Fe(NO3)3 and ascorbic acid. Its effectiveness was greater as compared to that of Q3G and comparable to that of quercetin aglycone. Furthermore, Q4'G yielded higher amounts of quercetin aglycone than Q3G on incubation with the homogenates. However, Q4'G showed a lower chelating activity in comparison to Q3G. These results indicate that Q4'G, even though it has a low chelating activity, because of its efficient conversion to antioxidative aglycone on exposure to the mucosa, can act as a powerful antioxidant on iron ion driven lipid peroxidation in the intestinal mucosa. Thus, vegetables rich in Q4'G, such as onion, are likely to serve as favorable antioxidant sources for suppressing iron-induced oxidative stress in the intestinal tract.
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