Antioxidant, Anticancer and Antibacterial Activity of Withania somnifera Aqueous Root Extract

DA Barnes, R Barlow, P Nigam, Richard Owusu-Apenten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To evaluate total antioxidant capacity, anticancer activity and antibacterial effects Withaniasomnifera aqueous-root extracts.Study Design: In vitro study.Place of Study: School of Biomedical Sciences, Ulster University, UK.Methodology: Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of whole powder and freeze dried W. somniferaaqueous-root extracts was determined using FRAP, DPPH, Folin and ABTS assays. Anticanceractivity was accessed using MDA-MB-231 breast cells and Sulforhodamine B staining for cellviability. Antibacterial activity was by disk diffusion assay with penicillin, amoxicillin andstreptomycin as positive controls.Results: The TAC for W. somnifera extract was 86, 47, 195,or 443 gallic acid equivalents per 100gdry basis (mgGAE/ 100 g) us ing FRAP, DPPH, Folin or ABTS assays, respectively. CorrespondingTAC values for freeze dried W. somnifera aqueous-root extract were, 418, 553, 1898 or, 1770(mgGAE/100 g). W. somnifera aqueous-root extract inhibited MDA-MB-231 cell proliferation in adose-dependent manner with IC50 = 0.19 mg/ml (21 μM GAE). Nil antibacterial effects weredetected for freeze dried W. somnifera extract (0-1 mg/ml) across six species of bacteria tested.Conclusion: Withania somnifera root water extract showed significant antioxidant and anticanceractivity for MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells but no antibacterial activity under the conditions of this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalJournal of Advances in Biology and Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 10 Nov 2015


  • Withania somnifera
  • antioxidant capacity
  • anticancer
  • antibacterial.


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