Melatonin: A peroxyl radical scavenger more effective than vitamin E

Carlo Pieri, Maurizio Marra, Fausto Moroni, Rina Recchioni, Fiorella Marcheselli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have compared the peroxyl radical scavenger ability of melatonin with that of vitamin E, vitamin C and reduced glutathione (GSH). In the assay system, β-phycoerythrin (β-PE) was used as fluorescent indicator protein, 2-2′-azo-bis(2-amidinopropane)dihydrochloride as a peroxyl radical generator and the water soluble vitamin E analogue, Trolox, as reference standard. Results are expressed as oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORACperox) units, where 1 ORAC unit equals the net protection produced by 1 μM Trolox. A linear correlation of ORAC values with concentration (0.5-4 μM) of all the substances tested has been observed. However, on molar basis, the relative ORACperox of Trolox, vitamin C, GSH and melatonin was 1 : 1.12 : 0.68 : 2.04, respectively. Thus, melatonin, which is a lipid-soluble compound, was twice more active than vitamin E, believed to be the most effective lipophilic antioxidant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • antioxidants
  • melatonin
  • peroxil radicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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