Carotenoid composition and in vitro pharmacological activity of rose hips*

Carotenoid composition and in vitro pharmacological activity of rose hips*

Scott S. Russo, M.D.


Inflammation is a constant in an individual’s life.  It is a dynamic interplay between our lifestyle, environment and genetic predisposition.  It can be beneficial from a health and wellness standpoint fighting off infections and recovering from trauma and illness.  On the other hand, it can result in disease by attacking a person’s normal tissues, as in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.  Antioxidants from dietary sources have the potential to impact health and wellness by providing protection from cancer, infection, and conditions producing inflammation.  In this paper by Horvath et al. he explores the nature of carotenoids obtained from extracts of the plant species Rosa canina L. or better known as Rose hips.

The purpose of this paper was to study the antioxidant potential, antibacterial effects on H. pylori, cytotoxicity and reversal of multidrug resistance on tumor cells of 6 different extracts of Rose hips.  This study used in vitro analysis techniques on cells of H. pylori, oral squamous carcinoma and submandibular gland tumor to look at the impact of different fractions of carotenoids in various concentrations. 

They found certain isolates to have a positive effect on the control of H. pylori bacteria comparable to “non-natural products”.  This includes the (free radical scavenging) protective effect of antioxidants on gastric and duodenal mucosa.  Carotenoid fractions had the ability to kill cancer cells but, on a level, lower than the studies control drug, Gallic acid. In addition, it demonstrated an effect on the cancer cells by improving the transport of cancer drugs into the interior of the cells in a more effective manner.  As it relates to reactive oxygen species or chemicals associated with inflammation there was differing benefit of the various fractions with regards to neutralizing the chemicals and lessening oxidative stress to the body.

In summary, this paper lends support to the potential benefit of antioxidants as a mixture from multiple carotenoids that can be used to lessen the damage incurred from oxidation within the human body. 


Acta biochimica polonica Vol. 59, No 1/2012 129–132

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