Inhibitory effects of Alpinia speciosa K. SCHUM on the porphyrin photooxidative reaction.
J Dermatol. 2000 May;27(5):312-7. PMID: 10875197
It is thought that the beta-carotene defense mechanism against photosensitivity involves the inhibition of singlet oxygen formation, a kind of active oxygen. When we screened chemical substances obtained from plants indigenous to Okinawa, known to have residents with the longest life span in Japan, we found that Alpinia speciosa K. SCHUM (Japanese name: gettou), which is used as a food preservative, has an activity similar to that of beta-carotene. We measured the amount of lipid peroxide (LPO) formed from a hematoporphyrin-containing rat liver microsomal suspension irradiated with visible light. The inhibitory effect of Alpinia speciosa on LPO formation was confirmed when the addition of increasing concentrations of Alpinia speciosa extract led to a decrease in the amount of LPO formed. Moreover, the reaction mechanism that affects the amount of singlet oxygen formed was measured, and the effect of the extract was determined by the ESR trapping technique. It was found that the extract effectively inhibited the formation of singlet oxygen. The extract of Alpinia speciosa contains dihydro-5,6-dehydrokawain. It was confirmed that dihydro-5,6-dehydrokawain, which is a water-soluble compound, has singlet oxygen quenching activity. We synthesized five derivatives of kawain and found that dimethyl [6-(2-phenylethyl)-2-oxo-2H-pyran-4-yl] phosphorothionate has the strongest singlet oxygen quenching activity. The use of the compound from Alpinia speciosa that exhibits singlet oxygen quenching activity as an inhibitory agent of the phototoxic reaction in porphyria is expected.