Bacteria coated by polyphenols acquire potent oxidant-scavenging capacities

Erez Koren, Ron Kohen, Haim Ovadia, Isaac Ginsburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Several microbial species, including probiotic lactic acid bacteria, have the ability to irreversibly bind a large variety of polyphenols (flavonoids) and anthocyanidins found in many colored fruits and vegetables and to enhance their total oxidant-scavenging capacities (TOSC). The binding of flavonoids to microbial surfaces was further increased by the cationic polyelectrolytes ligands poly-L-histidine, chlorhexidine and Copaxone®. This phenomenon was confirmed visually, by the FRAP, DPPH, cyclic voltammetry, Folin-Ciocalteu as well as by luminol-dependent chemiluminescence techniques employed to assay TOSC. The possibility is considered that clinically, microbial cells in the oral cavity and in the gastro intestinal tract, complexed with antioxidant polyphenols from nutrients and with cationic ligands, might increase the protection of mammalian cells against damage induced by excessive generation of reactive oxygen species during infections and inflammation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)940-951
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by an endowment fund by the late Dr. S. M. Robbins of Cleveland, OH, USA, by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 241/04) and by the Ydidut Foundation (Mexico).


  • Bacteria
  • Cationic peptides
  • Polyphenols
  • Total oxidant-scavenging capacity (TOSC)


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