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Effect of Benzylic Oxygen on the Antioxidant Activity of Phenolic Lignans

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journal contribution
posted on 28.10.2005, 00:00 by Satoshi Yamauchi, Yoshimasa Hayashi, Yuki Nakashima, Takuya Kirikihira, Kazuki Yamada, Toshiya Masuda
It has been clarified in the present investigation that a high degree of oxidation at the benzylic position of phenolic lignans bearing a 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl group reduces their antioxidant activity and that the antioxidant activity of the bis(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl)tetrahydrofuran lignan 2 is higher than that of the corresponding γ-butyrolactone lignan 1. This was demonstrated by comparing the antioxidant activities of compounds 1 and 2 with those of the (benzyl)(hydroxybenzyl)tetrahydrofurans 3 and 4, the bis(hydroxybenzyl)tetrahydrofurans 7 and 8, the (benzoyl)(benzyl)tetrahydrofuran 6, and the dibenzoyltetrahydrofuran 9. The activity level of compound 2 was approximately the same potency as that of the tetrahydronaphthalene-tetrahydrofuran 5. These compounds possess either a 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl group or a 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoyl group as the benzyl or benzoyl group. An examination of radical scavenging activity showed differences of activity between diastereomers. To make this comparison possible, compounds 19 were synthesized using new synthetic routes for several of these lignans. In this investigation, stereoisomers of the (benzyl)(hydroxybenzyl)tetrahydrofurans 3 and 4 and liovils 7 and 8 were synthesized for the first time.