Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Sarcocephalus latifolius (African peach) Leaf and Screening for Possible Contamination with Some Heavy Metals

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V. H. A. Enemor
A. N. C. Okaka
C. S. Okafor
S. Opeyemi


Leaves of Sarcocephalus latifolius (Synonym - Nauclea latifolia) were subjected to analyses to ascertain the capacity of the leaves to help in prevention of damages caused by free radicals. Various antioxidant substances including vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals were purposefully focused. Certain heavy metals of toxicity importance were also analysed. Appropriate phytochemical methods were used for determination of phytochemical composition while vitamins were analysed by colorimetric and titration methods as appropriate. Minerals were assessed by the use of Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). Some phytochemicals with antioxidant properties such as flavonoids and saponins, together with alkaloids and cardiac glycosides, were significantly present. Vitamins A and C were present in significant concentrations while vitamin E and the B vitamins were only slightly detected. Heavy mineral contaminants – lead, chromium, cadmium, and mercury were either absent or of insignificant value. Sodium, magnesium, aluminium and zinc (an antioxidant mineral) were fairly present. The findings confirm that the well known medicinal plant, Sarcocephalus latifolius, has high potential for free radical scanvenging in addition to its potential for the control and management of various illnesses. Furthermore, it is free of accumulation of toxic metal contaminants.

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Enemor, V. H. A., Okaka, A. N. C., Okafor, C. S., & Opeyemi, S. (2013). Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Sarcocephalus latifolius (African peach) Leaf and Screening for Possible Contamination with Some Heavy Metals . The Bioscientist Journal, 1(2), 158-163. Retrieved from


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