Background and Objective: Phytochemicals are bioactive non-nutritive secondary metabolites found in different parts of plants. They have been effective in the treatment of diseases and infections. There has been an increase in the use of natural products due to their little or no side effects. Annona muricata (Soursop) and Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jackfruit) are tropical plants used in folk medicine in the treatment of different diseases and infection. Hence the quantitative phytochemical screening of the leaves of Annona muricata (Soursop) and Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jackfruit) were analyzed to ascertain the bioactive compounds present in them. Materials and Methods: The phytochemical content of the leaves of Annona muricata (Soursop) and Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jackfruit) were quantified using gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. Results: The result showed the presence of Sparteine, Anthocyanin, Sapogenin, Morphine, Phenol, Quinine, Ribalinidine, Ephedrine, Resveratrol, Catechin, Saponin, Oxalate and Quercertin in Annona muricata leaves while Artocarpus heterophyllus leaves contained Sparteine, Anthocyanin, Sapogenin, Morphine, Phenol, Glycitein, Quinine, Ribalinidine, Ephedrine, Resveratrol and Catechin at different concentrations. Conclusion: The quantitative phytochemical screening of the leaves of A. muricata and A. heterophyllus showed that both plants are rich in both alkaloids and flavonoids (phenolic compounds).
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Phytochemicals are non-nutritive chemicals secreted by plants, which possess bioactive properties1, they also serve as defence systems against pathogens and animals2. Different classes of phytochemicals exist, they include carbohydrates, lipids, phenolics, terpenoids and alkaloids and other nitrogen-containing compounds3.
Phytochemicals play different roles in plant, they protect plants from harmful insects, microbes, ultraviolet (UV) rays and extreme temperatures. They also attract birds and insects that promote pollination, germination and seed dispersal4. Besides they provide colour to plants and also serve as a source of flavor to plants5. Besides the roles phytochemicals play in plants, they also play important roles in man and animals. Most phytochemicals possess antioxidant activities hence they help in cleaning up free radicals and also prevent diseases that manifest from reactive oxygen species (ROS)6-8. Phytochemicals prevent and ameliorate diseases such as diabetes, cancer, hyperlipidaemia, cardiovascular diseases, liver toxicity, Alzheimer, cataract, age related function decline, stroke and others.
Different phytochemicals that have been isolated from plants include alkaloids, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, kaempferol, phytol, gallic acid, kolaviron and essential oils9.
The A. muricata generally called graviola, guanabana10 is a green leafy plant which belong to annonaceae family11. It is a fruit tree found mostly in the tropics and commonly cultivated in South America, Central America, Africa and Asia12.
Every part of A. muricata has rich deposit of plant chemicals which have healing effects. These phytochemicals include; alkaloids, tannin, megastigmanes, flavonol, triglycerides, flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, triterpenoid13 and cyclopeptides14. Phytochemicals such as tannins, coumarins, stearic acid, myristique acid and ellagic acid have been identified in A. muricata leaves and stems11.
In another, A. muricata pulp contains 6. 44 mg/100 g anthocyanin and 1. 90 mg/100 g of alkaloid15 while methanol and aqueous extract of A. muricata showed the presence of cardiac glycosides, anthraquinones, phlobatannin and reducing sugars, respectively16. Compounds isolated from the leaves, fruits, seeds, pericarp, roots and stem of A. muricate have shown toxicity against cancer, they include annopentocin, cis-Annomuricin-D-one and Annocatalin14.
The A. heterophyllus known as Jackfruit in English and Kanthal in Bangladesh is a fruit in the mulberry family known as Moraceae. It grows wildly in the tropics especially in India and Malaysia17. It is grown in the Central and eastern Africa and also in the Caribbean18. The leaves, fruits, seeds, barks, roots and the stem of A. heterophyllus are rich in isoflavons, niacin, saponin, lignans, flavonoids, alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, triterpenes19, phenolic compounds20, ‘morin, dihydromorin, cynomacurin, artocarpin, isoartocarpin, cyloartocarpin, artocarpesin, artocarpetin, norartocarpetin, cycloartinone and artocarpanone21. Recently, a lot of interest has been focused on natural products especially those from plants. Plants are known to be rich in a wide range of bioactive chemicals which are used in the treatment of different kinds of diseases and infections. The A. muricata (Soursop) and A. heterophyllus (Jackfruit) leaves are one of such plants which are used especially in folk and Ayurveda medicine in the treatment of diseases. The A. muricata leaves have been effectively used locally in the treatment of diabetes while A. hetrophyllus has been used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus, convulsion/epilepsy and microbial infections19. The effectiveness of these plants in the treatment of different kinds of disease and infections can be attributed to their phytochemical contents, hence the knowledge of different bioactive compounds present in these plants may stand as a yardstick in pharmaceutical production of drugs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (BUCK M910) was used for the quantification of the phytochemicals present in the plants.
Collection and identification of plants: The leaves of A. muricata were obtained from Abuja park of University of Port Harcourt while the leaves of A. heterophyllus were obtained from Ozuoba Obior/Akpo Local Government Area of Rivers state.
Plant material: Artocarpus heterophyllus and Anonna muricate were identified and confirmed botanically by Dr. Ekeke Chimezie of the Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Nigeria and the voucher specimen deposited at the herbarium of Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, University of University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Determination of quantitative phytochemical content of the plants
Extraction of the phytochemicals: About 1 g of each of the plant samples (A. murcata and A. heterophyllus) were added 15 mL of ethanol and 10 mL of 50% m/v potassium hydroxide. This was kept in a water bath for 60 min at a temperature of 60°C. The different extracts obtained were washed three times with 10 mL of 10% v/v ethanol aqueous solution, dried with anhydrous sodium sulphate and the solvent was evaporated. Each of the sample extracts were solubilized in 1000 μL of pyridine, 200 μL was transferred to a vial for analysis.
Quantification by GC-FID: The quantification of the phytochemicals (plant chemical) present in the plants (A. muricata and A. heterophyllus) were done using BUCK M910 GC equipped with a flame ionization detector. The injector temperature was up to 280°C with split less injection of 2 μL of sample and a linear velocity of 30 cm1, the carrier gas used is Helium 5. 0 pa. s with a flow rate of 40 mL min1. The oven operated from a temperature of 200°C until it heated to 330°C at a rate of 3°C min1. This temperature was maintained for 5 min and the detector operated at a temperature of 320°C. The concentration of the different phytochemicals was expressed in μg g1.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Quantitative phytochemical content of the leaves of A. muricata: The quantitative phytochemical content of the leaves of A. muricata is presented in Fig. 1.
The quantitative phytochemical screening of the plants using GC-FID showed that the leaves of A. muricata and A. heterophyllus are rich mainly in alkaloids and flavonoid (phenolic compounds).
Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring plant secondary metabolites which contains basic nitrogen atoms in the heterocyclic ring and are derived from amino acids22,23. Alkaloids are known for their biological activities which include anti-oxidant activity, muscle relaxant property, anti-microbial, amoebicidal, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic activities23.
Phenolic compounds are chemical substance that possess aromatic ring, they may contain one (phenol) or more (polyphenol) hydroxyl substituents8. Phenolic compounds are known for their anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activities8,24. The presence of glycitein a phytoestrogen in the leaves of A. heterophyllus, in Table 1 shows that the plant may possess estrogenic activities25.
The result of the present study shows that A. muricata and A. heterophyllus contains high concentration of catechin as shown in Table 1 and 2. Catechin is a natural occurring phenolic compound, it is known for its anti-oxidant activities. Besides having anti-oxidant activities, catechin have the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity and cancer38.
Quantitative phytochemical content of A. muricata leaves
|Fig. 2:|| |
Quantitative phytochemical content of the leaves of A. heterophyllus
|Table 1:|| |
Phytochemical content of the leaves of A. muricata
|Table 2:|| |
Phytochemical content of the leaves of A. heterophyllus
Biological activities of the phytochemicals characterised in the leaves of A. muricata and A. heterophyllus
This research also revealed the presence of morphine in both plants, morphine is in the class of drugs known as opioid. Morphine serve as analgesics and can easily be abused due to psychological dependence of it when taken for too long29. GC-FID analysis of the plants also revealed the presence of quinine, a type of alkaloid. A lot research has shown that quinine is an effective antimalarial drug32.
Table 3 shows a brief summary of the biological activities of the phytochemicals present in the leaves of A. muricata and A. heterophyllus.
The role of phytochemicals cannot be over emphasised, various research on the activities of plants have shown that most plants possess one or more biological activities which has been attributed to their rich phytochemical contents. As shown in the Table 3, the leaves of A. muricata and A. heterophyllus possess mainly alkaloids and flavonoids (phenolic compounds) which have the potential to inhibit the activities of α-amylase and α-glucosidase enzyme. This could be exploited in the pharmacological production of antidiabetic drugs. The presence of glycitein an estrogenic compound in the leaves of A. heterophyllus may also serve as a potent drug to boost fertility while the presence of quinine in both plants shows that the plants can also be optimized in the pharmacological production of anti-malarial drugs.
This study showed the quantitative phytochemical content of the leaves of A. muricata and A. heterophyllus. A. muricata and A. heterophyllus are used locally in the treatment of different diseases and infections. This research revealed that the leaves of these plants are rich in both alkaloids and flavonoids. The presence of quinine, morphine (alkaloids) and flavonoids (phenolic compounds) suggest that the plants may rightly be used locally as anti-malarial, pain relief and possibly anti-diabetic.
The Authors wish to thank Mr. David Okeke of spring board Laboratories for his efforts during this research.
- Prakash, O., R. Kumar, A. Mishra and R. Gupta, 2009. Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jackfruit): An overview. Pharmacogn. Rev., 3: 353-358.
- Babbar, N., 2015. An introduction to alkaloids and their applications in pharmaceutical chemistry. Pharma Innov. J., 4: 74-75.
- Kaur, R. and S. Arora, 2015. Alkaloids-important therapeutic secondary metabolites of plant origin. J. Crit. Rev., 2: 1-8.
- Nwiloh, B.I., A.A. Uwakwe and J.O. Akaninwor, 2016. Phytochemical screening and GC-FID analysis of ethanolic extract of root bark of Salacia nitida L. Benth. J. Med. Plant Stud., 4: 283-287.