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28.05.2018 | Original Contribution

Selenium and sulphur derivatives of hydroxytyrosol: inhibition of lipid peroxidation in liver microsomes of vitamin E-deficient rats

European Journal of Nutrition
Guillermo Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, Fátima Rubio-Senent, Antonio Gómez-Carretero, Inés Maya, Juan Fernández-Bolaños, Garry G. Duthie, Baukje de Roos



The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of modified phenols synthesized from hydroxytyrosol, a natural olive oil phenol, specifically those containing a selenium or sulphur group, to inhibit lipid peroxidation.


The compounds’ abilities to inhibit lipid peroxidation in liver microsomes obtained from vitamin E-deficient rats were compared to hydroxytyrosol.


All synthetic compounds had a significant higher ability to inhibit lipid peroxidation than hydroxytyrosol. Selenium derivates displayed a higher antioxidant activity than sulphur derivatives. In addition, the antioxidant activity increased with a higher number of heteroatoms in the hydroxytyrosol molecular structure.


The study shows, for the first time, the ability of synthetic compounds, derived from the most active phenol present in olives in free form (hydroxytyrosol), and containing one or two atoms of sulphur or selenium, to inhibit the lipid peroxidation of vitamin E-deficient microsomes. The antioxidant activity of five thioureas, a disulfide, a thiol, three selenoureas, a diselenide, and a selenonium were evaluated and the results showed a higher inhibition of lipid peroxidation than the natural phenol. Selenium and sulphur derivatives of hydroxytyrosol are novel antioxidants with the potential to supplement the lack of vitamin E in the diet as natural alternatives for the prevention of diseases related to oxidative damage.

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