BACKGROUND: Extracts from Polygonum senegalensis (Polygonaceae) and Pseudocedrela kotschyi (Meliaceae) are two important traditionally used medicinal plants in rural Benin to treat many diseases and notably type 2 diabetes. The aim of the study was to investigate the alpha-glucosidase inhibition, antioxidant and antibacterial activities of those plants extract: Polygonum senegalensis leaves, and Pseudocedrela kotschyi root. METHODS: Hydro-alcoholic (50%) extracts were analyzed for their phytochemical content and tested for their inhibition potency on alpha-glucosidase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Antioxidant activities were assessed using the DPPH, ORAC, FRAP and DCFH-DA (cell based) assay. Finally, the antibacterial activity was evaluated using MIC determination on four Gram-positive cocci (Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium difficile, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus), three Gram-negative bacilli (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae), and the yeast Candida albicans. RESULTS: Each extract presented significant alpha-glucosidase inhibition and antioxidant activities. Polygonum senegalensis leaf extracts were the most active in each in vitro assay with an IC50 = 1.5 mug/ml for alpha-glucosidase inhibition and an IC50 = 6.8 mug/ml for DPPH scavenging, - 4.5 mumol Fe II/g of dry matter - 9366 mumol Trolox / g DW - for FRAP and ORAC values, respectively. IC50 = 2.3 mug GA / ml for DCFH-DA assay. Concerning its antibacterial activity, a growth inhibitory effect was observed only against three Gram negative bacilli: B. subtilis, E. faecalis, S. aureus and the yeast C. albicans at high concentration. CONCLUSION: The results showed that the semi alcoholic extract of the two studied plants possess alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity, antioxidant potency, and low antibacterial effect.
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