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Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts

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Abstract

Carrot is a root vegetable with carotenoids, flavonoids, polyacetylenes, vitamins, and minerals, all of which possess numerous nutritional and health benefits. Besides lending truth to the old adage that carrots are good for eyes, carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins present in carrot act as antioxidants, anticarcinogens, and immunoenhancers. Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective, renoprotective, and wound healing benefits of carrot have also been reported. The cardio- and hepatoprotective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects of carrot seed extracts are also noteworthy. All are discussed in this review article.
Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2014, 5, 2147-2156
Published Online December 2014 in SciRes. http://www.scirp.org/journal/fns
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2014.522227
How to cite this paper: Silva Dias, J.C. (2014) Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots and Their Seed Extracts. Food and
Nutrition Sciences, 5, 2147-2156. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2014.522227
Nutritional and Health Benefits of Carrots
and Their Seed Extracts
João Carlos da Silva Dias
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal
Email: mirjsd@gmail.com
Received 7 October 2014; revised 29 October 2014; accepted 15 November 2014
Copyright © 2014 by author and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Abstract
Carrot is a root vegetable with carotenoids, flavonoids, polyacetylenes, vitamins, and minerals, all
of which possess numerous nutritional and health benefits. Besides lending truth to the old adage
that carrots are good for eyes, carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins present in carrot act as an-
tioxidants, anticarcinogens, and immunoenhancers. Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular
disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective, renoprotective, and wound healing bene-
fits of carrot have also been reported. The cardio- and hepatoprotective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal,
anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects of carrot seed extracts are also noteworthy. All are dis-
cussed in this review article.
Keywords
Daucus carota, Chemical Composition, Antioxidants, Phytochemicals, Disease Prevention
1. Introduction
Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is the most important crop of Apiaceae family. It is a root vegetable that has world-
wide distribution. Carrots were first used for medical purposes and gradually used as food. Written records in
Europe indicated that carrots were cultivated prior to the tenth century. The colors of the carrot root flesh may
be white, yellow, orange, red, purple, or very dark purple. The first cultivated carrots were yellow and purple
fleshed cultivars. Orange carrots, today more popular, were developed in the 15th and 16th centuries in Central
Europe. A rapid rise in the popularity of orange carrots was observed with the recognition of its high provitamin
A content [1]. Carotenoids and anthocyanins are the major antioxidant pigments found in carrots. Cultivar dif-
ferences in carrots rely in the type of pigments present. Carotenoids are the yellow, orange, or red colored phy-
tochemicals found in most yellow and orange fleshed cultivars. The widely used orange carrot is high in α- and
β-carotene and is a rich source of provitamin A. Yellow carrot color is due to lutein which plays an important
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role in prevention of macular degeneration [2] [3]. The red water-soluble anthocyanin pigment and the red water-
insoluble lycopene pigment present in the roots of some cultivars do not contribute to the provitamin A content.
Red carrot color is due to its high lycopene content [3]. Meanwhile anthocyanin-rich carrots are purple [4].
White flesh cultivars contain very little pigments. The carotene content of the orange and yellow fleshed culti-
vars increases with growth. The cortical region contains more carotenes than the core. Overall carotenoid levels,
have increased dramatically in the past four decades through traditional breeding to reach levels of 1000 ppm
carotenoids, on a fresh weight basis [2] [3] [5]. Besides, comparing to other vegetables, carrots can provide in
the human diet significant amount of vitamin A due to the high bioavailability of carrot carotenoids [6].
Carrots have also a unique combination of three flavonoids: kaempferol, quercetin and luteolin [7]-[9]. They
are also rich in other phenols, including chlorogenic, caffeic and p-hydroxybenzoic acids along with numerous
cinnamic acid derivates. Among hydroxycinnamic acid and its derivates, chlorogenic acid represents 42.2% to
61.8% of total phenolic compounds detected in different carrot tissues [10] [11]. Bioactive polyacetylenes, such
as falcarinol (synonymous with panaxynol), and falcarindiol are found in carrots. The concentration of falcarinol
in fresh carrots depends on carrot tissue cultivar and water stress [12]. Falcarinol is the most bioactive phyto-
chemical of the carrot polyacetylenes. It is though that this compound may stimulate cancer-fighting mechan-
isms in the human body. The mode of action behind the favorable effect of falcarinol may be due to its hydro-
phobicity and its ability to form an extremely stable carbocation with the loss of water thereby acting as a very
reactive alkylating agent toward proteins and other biomolecules [13]. Besides other sesquiterpenes, which
presence has also been found in various biochemical analyses, daucuside and daucuso are sesquiterpenoids re-
cently isolated from carrot seeds and that have cytotoxic effect against human gastric cell lines [14] [15]. The
presence of coumarins has also been demonstrated in various biochemical analysis. A bitter coumarin compound
is formed when carrots are stored [16].
Among 39 fruits and vegetables carrots have been ranked 10th in nutritional value [17]. Carrot is a good
source of dietary fiber and of the trace mineral molybdenum, rarely found in many vegetables. Molybdenum
aids in metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and is important for absorption of iron. It is also a good source of
magnesium and manganese. Magnesium is needed for bone, protein, making new cells, activating B vitamins,
relaxing nerves and muscles, clotting blood, and in energy production [18]. Insulin secretion and function also
require magnesium [19] [20]. Manganese is helpful in carbohydrate metabolism, in coordination with enzymes
in the body [2] [3]. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismu-
tase. Potassium and magnesium in carrots help in functioning of muscles.
When carrot roots after juvenile stage are subjected to cold temperatures, for a period of time according to
cultivars, flower induction and seedstalk formation takes place. Seeds contain essential oils. Carrot seed oil ex-
tracts have also health benefits. This article reviews the nutritional and health benefits of carrots and their seed
extracts.
2. Health Benefits of Carrots
2.1. Antioxidant, Anticarcinogen, and Immunoenhancer Benefits
Like many other colored vegetables carrot is a gold mine of antioxidants. Carotenoids, polyphenols and vitamins
present in carrot act as antioxidants, anticarcinogens, and immunoenhancers. Carotenoids widely distributed in
orange carrots are potent antioxidants which can neutralize the effect of free radicals. They have been shown to
have inhibition mutagenesis activity contributing to decrease risk of some cancers [2] [3]. Zhang and Hamauzuet
[10] reported that flavonoids and phenolic derivates, present in carrot roots play also an important role as anti-
oxidants. They also exert anticarcinogenic activities, reduce inflammatory insult, and modulate immune re-
sponse [2] [3].
Zaini et al. [21] reported the anti-carcinogenic effect of carrot juice extracts on myeloid and lymphoid leuke-
mia cell lines. In vitro analysis was done on 72 hours incubation of carrot juice extracts in leukemia cell lines
and non-tumor control cells. It was observed that carrot juice extract possessed the ability to induce apoptosis
and cause cell cycle arrest in leukemia cell lines. The effect was less prominent in myeloid and hematopoietic
stem cells. Those investigators considered that β-carotene and falcarinol present in the carrot juice extract may
have been responsible for this beneficial effect of killleukemia cells and inhibit their progression.
Darroudi et al. [22] reported the anti-clastogenic activity of carrot on Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and
human lymphocytes. In pre-treated rats, fresh carrot juice was shown to attenuate the increase in the frequencies
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of sister-chromatid exchanges induced by cyclophosphamide in wild-type and mutant CHO cells.
Larsen et al. [23] investigated the impact of carrot and its constituent falcarinol against development of
azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon preneoplastic lesions in rat colon. Rats were assorted and treated with
AOM and fed with carrot and falcarinol isolated from carrot. The results showed that there was a significant re-
duction in tumors and aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rats fed with carrot and falcarinol. The investigators con-
cluded that this evidence indicates that dietary treatment with carrot and falcarinol has the potential to delay or
retard the development of large ACF and colon tumors.
Purup et al. [24] reported that extracts of carrot which contain different amounts of falcarinol, falcarindiol,
and falcarindiol 3-acetate had significant inhibithory effects on both normal and cancer cell proliferation. The
study suggests that the aliphatic C17-polyacetylenes are the potential anti-cancer principles of carrots and that
the synergistic interation between bioactive polyacetylenes may be important for their bioactivity. Other studies
have reported that falcarinol exerts cytotoxic activity against several human tumor cell lines in vitro, destroying
pre-cancerous cells in the tumors [25] [26].
Ekam et al. [27] assessed the immunomodullatory effect of carrot-extracted carotenoid using 24 albino rats.
The percentage variation in lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes and platelet count was evaluated. Interestingly,
carotenoid administered rats showed a significant increase in lymphocytes, eosinoplils, monocytes and platelet
concentration. The beneficial effect was due to carrots α- and β-carotenoids.
A deficiency in vitamin A can cause eyes photoreceptors to deteriorate, which leads to vision problems. β-
carotene (the carotenoid with the most provitamin A activity) in carrots helps to protect vision, especially night
vision and also provides protection against macular degeneration and development of senile cataract, the leading
cause of blindness in aged people [2] [3]. Eating carrots rich in β-carotene may restore vision, lending truth to
the old adage that carrots are good for your eyes. Carrots are one of the richest sources of provitamin A and a
hight intake of carotenoids linked with a significant decrease in post-menopausal breast cancer [28]. Research
has shown also that smokers who eat carrots more than once a week have a lower risk of lung cancer [29], while
a β-carotene rich diet may also protect against prostate cancer [30]. The curative effect of carotenoids and anti-
oxidant polyphenols, and dietary fibers against bladder cancer and other carcinomas has also been reported by
Hung et al. [31].
Carotenoids of carrots that have no vitamin A activity (lycopen, lutein, and zeaxanthin) may shrink also a di-
abetics risk of developing diabetic retinopathy since as observed recently type 2 diabetics who had lower levels
of no vitamin A activity carotenoids, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, had corresponding higher levels of reti-
nopathy [2] [3] [32].
Besides cart loads of β-carotene and other carotenoids, carrots contain vitamins such as vitamin C and K,
thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6) and folates (B9), necessary for metabolism of carbohydrates,
proteins and healthy growth [2] [3] [33]. Vitamin C promotes the absorption of non-heme iron and is required
for fighting infections and vitamin K helps preventing bleeding. Thiamin (B1) has highly beneficial effects on
our nervous system and mental attitude; riboflavin is necessary for cell respiration, and red blood cell formation;
pyridoxine inhibits the formation of homocysteine and reduces the risk of heart disease; and folates may reduce
the risk of heart attack by lowering homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine have been found to be
associated with an increased risk of hardening of arteries due to the accumulation of fatty plaques. It also pro-
tects against birth defects in babies [2] [3].
2.2. Anti-Diabetic, Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease Lowering
and Anti-Hypertensive Benefits
Nutritionist generally recommend eating carrots in moderation because they contain more sugar than any other
vegetable. This recommendation was based on the first journal article ever published on the carrot glycemic index
(GI), in 1981, indicated that we quickly digest the carbohydrates in carrots. That study showed the carrots had a GI
of 92 (where glucose = 100). A later study that got much less attention showed the carrots had a GI of 39 ± 7 and
the carrot juice of 45 ± 4 (Cale not pub). Recent research [34] demonstrates a significant association between
vitamin A-rich carotenoids and diabetes status. According to these investigators higher blood glucose levels, as
well as higher fasting levels of insulin, were observed in study participants with lower level of carotenoids. Ca-
rotenoid levels also decreased as the severity of glucose intolerance increased. These findings suggest that carrot
and vitamin A-rich carotenoids might help diabetics to manage their condition. Chau et al. [35] comparing the
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characteristics, properties and in vitro hypoglycemic effects of various carrot water insoluble fiber-rich fractions,
observed that dietary fiber-rich fractions, which contained not only water insoluble dietary fiber but also alcohol
and water insoluble solides, isolated from carrot pomace exhibited glucose-adsorption capacity and amylase in-
hibition activity. Dietary fiber transports also a significant amount of polyphenols and carotenoids linked to the
fibre matrix though the human gut [36] [37]. Chau et al. [35] concluded that the enhanced glucose adsorbance
capacity and reduction of amylase activity of dietary fiber of carrot might help control post-prandial serum glucose
level. This study confirmed the strong relationship between dietary fiber intake and lower risk of type 2 diabetes [2]
[3]. Several mechanisms have been proposed for this inhibition, including improved insulin sensivity and/or de-
crease insulin requirement [38]. More recently Poudyal et al. [39] reported the efficacy of purple carrot juice
against metabolic syndrome. Purple carrot diet was supplemented in a high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-fed rat
model. Interestingly, there was a reduction in impaired glucose tolerance, endothelial function and abdominal fat
deposits. The purple carrot juice was rich in anthocyanin and low in carotenoids. Authors concluded that the an-
thocyanins of the carrot juice were responsible for the beneficial effect.
Nicolle et al. [40] reported that carrot showed cholesterol absorption mitigating effects in experimental carrot
fed rats. Regulation in bile acid secretion and antioxidant status was also reported. A significant decrease in liver
cholesterol and triglyceride levels was also observed by these investigators. Moreover, carrot consumption in-
creased the vitamin E level in plasma and increased the ferric reducing ability of plasma [40]. In another study
these authors administered lyophilized carrot enriched diet to mice. They observed that carrot ingestion decrease
lipemia and improved antioxidant status in mice. Also, it improved the level of vitamin E and myocardial cells.
The results suggested that carrot intake may exert a protective effect against cardiovascular disease linked to
atherosclerosis. The effect may be due to the synergistic action of dietary fiber and antioxidant polyphenols in
carrot [40]. The consumption of carrots has also been associated with lower risk of heart attacks in women [41].
In a recent study Griep et al. [42] examined the associations between fruit and vegetables of different colors
and their subgroups and 10-year coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence. They used data from a prospective
population-based cohort including 20,069 men and women aged 20 - 65 years who were enrolled between 1993
and 1997. They observed that eating more deep-orange-colored fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower
risk of CHD. In particular, carrots (their largest contributor to total orange fruit and vegetables consumption
with 60 %), were associated with a 32% lower risk of CHD. They concluded that a higher intake of deep
orange fruit and vegetables, and especially carrots, may protect against CHD”.
Gilani et al. [43] studied the anti-hypertensive effect of two cumarin glycosides (DC-2 and DC-3) from car-
rots. Dose dependent intravenous administration of these glycoside compounds caused a decrease in arterial
blood pressure in normotensive anaesthetized rats. Moreover, in vitro studies by the same investigators showed
that the glycoside compounds caused inhibitory effects on spontaneously beating guinea pig atria, as well as on
the kt-induced contractions of rabbit aorta. The authors concluded that the decreased blood pressure observed in
in vitro studies may be due to the calcium channel blocking action of cumarin glycosides (DC-2 and DC-3) from
carrots.
2.3. Hepatoprotective, and Renoprotective Benefits
Bishayee et al. [44] observed that carrot extract help to protect liver from acute injury by the toxic effects of en-
vironmental chemicals. In its study the effect of carrot extract on carbon tetrachloride (CC14)-induced acute liver
damage in mouse was evaluated. The increased serum enzyme levels by CC14-induction were significantly lo-
wered due to pre-treatment with the carrot extract. The carrot extract also decreased the elevated serum bilirubin
and urea content due to CC14 administration. Increased activities of hepatic 5’-nucleotidase, acid phosphatase,
acid ribonuclease and decreased levels of succinic dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphatase and cytochrome P-450
produced by CCl4 were reversed by the carrot extract in a dose-responsive way. The investigators concluded that
results of this study revealed that carrot could afford a significant protective action in the alleviation of CCl4-
induced hepatocellular acute injury. Mills et al. [45] measured the possible effects of bioactive compounds in 4
biofortified flesh carrot cultivars (purple/orange, purple/orange/red, orange/red, and orange) on the provitamin A
bioefficacy and antioxidant potential on the liver of Mongolian gerbils. Following a 4-wk vitamin A depletion
period and baseline kill, freeze-dried carrot powders were mixed into purified feeds and fed to 6 groups of 11
Mongolian gerbils for 4 wk. White flesh carrot fed control and vitamin A supplemented groups were used to
calculate carrot provitamin A bioefficacy. Antioxidant potential of carrot powders, sera, and livers were deter-
mined using the 2, 2’-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical cation decolorization assay and
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carotenoid and retinol concentrations were determined by HPLC. The authors observed that the antioxidant po-
tential of the liver and vitamin A stores were greater in Mongolian gerbils fed with colored flesh carrots compared
with the control gerbils fed with white flesh carrots and vitamin A supplemented groups.
Mital et al. [46] studied the renoprotective activity of carrot root extract on renal ischemia reperfusion acute
injury in rats. Rats with renal reperfusion injury showed significantly decreased activity of superoxide dismutase,
catalase and glutathione, and a significant increase in malondialdehyde level. The study revealed that carrot ex-
tract exerts renoprotective activity against ischemia reperfusion induced kidney acute injury, by reducing free
radical scavenging activity one of the mechanisms behind ischemia reperfusion damage of kidneys.
2.4. Wound Healing Benefits
Patil et al. [47] report that animals treated with topical cream of ethanolic extract of carrot root, formulated at
different concentrations, showed significant decreases in wound area, epithelization period and scar width when
compared to control group animals in an excision wound model. Meanwhile, rate of wound contraction signifi-
cantly increased. Moreover, there were also significant increases in wound tensile strength, hydroxyproline con-
tent and protein content in animals treated with the topical cream formulation of ethanolic extract of carrot seeds.
The antioxidant and anti-microbial activities of ethanolic extract of carrot root, mainly flavonoids and phenolic
derivates, may be involved in this increased curative property. Wound healing effects may also be due to regula-
tion of collagen expression and inhibition of elevated levels of lipid peroxides.
3. Health Benefits of Seed Carrot Extracts
Seed carrot extracts and its essential oil have been reported in experimental studies to have cardio- and hepato-
protective, cognitive dysfunction, cholesterol lowering, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic,
and wound healing benefits.
3.1. Cardio- and Hepatoprotective Benefits
Muralidharam et al. [48] observed that carrot seed extract offers cardioprotection and muscle contraction regula-
tion in isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats by maintaining membrane bound enzymes. From
these results investigators concluded that the carrot seed extract might have inotropic effects. Notably, levels of
serum aspartame transaminase, alanine transaminase and lactate dehydrogenase were significantly lower in car-
rot seed extract fed rats.
Singh et al. [49] reported the hypolipidemic activity of carrot seeds in rats. It was observed that rats fed with
carrot seeds showed a reduction in the total cholesterol and triglyceride HLD and VLDL as compared with the
control group of rats. Aydin et al. [50] studied the effects of carrot seed extract on thioacetamide, the potent he-
patotoxic amide. Normally it facilitates increased synthesis of guanine and cytosine rich RNA with concomitant
decrease in ribosomal RNA. The investigators observed and inverse correlation in thioacetamide-induced rise of
liver markers levels after administration of carrot seed extract. This favorable effect is an indicator of the liver
membrane stabilizing effect of the seed extract. Moreover, a significant rise in levels of antioxidant enzymes
such as SOD, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase was also reported. Recently, Singh et al. [51] studied the in
vitro antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity of methanolic extracts of carrot seeds. This study concluded that
the hepatoprotective activity of the carrot seed extract was due to the antioxidant potential of carrot seed extract.
Rezaei-Maghadam et al. [52] reported also the antioxidant activity and inhibit peroxidation activity in the liver
tissue of ethanolic carrot seed extracts based on in vivo experiments in rats. Their study showed that the regular
intake of ethanolic carrot seed extracts by rats through the diet can improve antioxidant status and inhibit perox-
idation activity in the liver tissue
3.2. Cognitive Dysfunction and Cholesterol Lowering Benefits
Cognition includes all aspects of perceiving, learning, thinking and remembering. The cognitive dysfunctions
include delirium, behavioral disorders and dementia. Cognitive impairment is the leading cause of neurodege-
nerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia in elderly individuals. It is characterized by progres-
sive memory loss and personality defects accompanied by structural abnormalities in the brain like speech dis-
order and loss of space orientation. Vasudevan et al. [53] reported that carrot seed extract reversed the memory
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deficits in scopolamine (or diazepam)-induced amnesia in young mice. These investigators concluded that ad-
ministration of carrot seed extract reduced brain acetylcholinesterase activity and cholesterol levels in mice
(acetylcholine synthesis is mediated by choline and acetyl coenzyme A in the presence of the enzyme choline
acetyltransferase). Furthermore they observed that the ethanolic extract of carrot seeds improved the retention
capacity of aged mice, when administrated orally for 7 days. Later in another study Vasudevan et al. [54] con-
firmed anti-dementia potential of carrot seed extracts in rats. Carrot seed extract reversed scopolamine, diaze-
pam or ageing-induced amnesia when administered for seven days in rats. They concluded that carrot seed ex-
tracts prove to be a usefull anti-Alzheimer agent, in view of its memory enhancing property observed in this
study. These results are in agreement with Indian Materia Medica that makes a mention of carrot seeds as a
brain tonic [55]. Previously, Gambhir et al. [56] showed that choline-rich quaternary base chlorides separated
from carrot seeds exhibit procholinergic activity. Vasudevan et al. [53] concluded that enhanced cholinergic
transmission resulted from increased acetylcholine synthesis in the brain due to abundant availability of choline
and reduction of brain cholinesterase activity. These effects in aged and young mice resulted in cognitive and
memory improvement and cholesterol-lowering benefits and might prove helpful in the management of cogni-
tive dysfunctions in elderly human patients.
3.3. Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Fungal Benefits
Rossi et al. [57] reported that the essential oil obtained from aerial parts of the of wild carrot showed inhibitory
action against the enteropathogen Campylobacter jejuni. Also phenylpropanoids, such as methylisoeugenol and
elemicin, from essential oil also exerted antimicrobial effect against Campylobacter coli and C. lari strains.
These authors found that an aromatic ring and a double bond on the side chain of both methylisoeugenol and
elemicim might be the responsible for the anti-microbial effects.
Misiaka et al. [58] reported that carrot seed oil extracts exhibited moderate inhibitory effects on mycelia
growth of Alternaria alternate (one of the most popular phytotoxic fungi infesting the carrot plant), isolated
from the surface of carrot seeds cultivar Perfekcja. Experiments, namely with the chemical compounds, carotol,
β-caryophyllene, and daucol were carried out to find out whether the observed activity was derived from the ac-
tion of carotol alone or from a synergistic action. Carotol significantly inhibited the growth of the fungi and re-
duced the colony radial size. Meanwhile, the inhibitory effect produced by daucol was comparatively less than
carotol. No effect was exerted by β-caryophyllene. The results suggested that carotol is the main agent responsi-
ble for the anti-fungal activity of carrot seed oil extracts.
Another assay assessing the anti-bacterial effect was conducted by Kumarasamy et al. [59] using the com-
pounds obtained from methanolic extract of wild carrot seeds. Luteolin, luteolin 3'-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, and
luteolin 4'-O-β-glucopyranoside are the major flavones isolated from methanolic extract. These authors found
that luteolin exerted anti-bacterial activity against Bacillus cereus and Citrobacter freundii. Meanwile luteolin
3'-O-glucoside showed antibacterial activity against B. cereus and Lactobacillus plantarum. Similarily, growth
of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were inhibited by both luteolin and its 4'-O-glucoside. Moreover,
in the 2.2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay luteolin showed greater radical scavenging activity.
3.4. Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic Benefits
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of carrot seed extract have been reported experimentally. Vasude-
van et al. [60] suggested that carrot seeds possess anti-inflammatory effect. In their research paw edema was
induced in rats using carrageenan histamine, and serotonin; and arthritis was induced using folmaldehyde. Sur-
prisingly, the disease condition decreased in rats fed with a high dose of carrot seed extract. Furthermore, in or-
der to assess the carots analgesic activity, writing effect was induced by intra-peritoneal injection. There was a
significant reduction in writhing effect after the administration of carrot seed extract. In another study Mornin et
al. [61] found that carrot seed extract compounds (2,4,5-trimethoxybenzaldehyde, oleic acid, trans-asarone and
geraniol) has anti-inflammatory properties due to the inhibition of cyclooxygenase enzymes and provided anti-
inflammatory benefits that were significant even when compared to anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin, Ibu-
profen, Naproxen and Celebrex.
3.5. Fertility Benefits
The fertily effect of carrot seed extract is gender dependent. Pharmacological studies showed that carrot seeds
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exhibit anti-fertility properties in females [62]-[64]. In contrast Nouri et al. [65] reported that carrot seed extract
induces spermatogenesis in male rats. They observed that rats fed with carrot seed extract recovered from gen-
tamicin-induced reproductive toxicity and displayed enhanced spermatogenesis. Thus, carrot seed extract was
able to induce spermatogenesis and cauda epididymal sperm reserves. The probable biochemical mechanism be-
hind the effect is through the elevation of testosterone levels in male rats. Besides carrot seed extracts are rich in
antioxidants and therefore the elevation in cauda epididymal sperm reserves may be also attributed to its anti-
oxidant effect.
4. Outlook
Carrot has remarkable nutritional and health benefits. There are good reasons to include carrots in human diet,
since they are enriched with carotenoids, phenolic compounds, polyacetylenes, and vitamins and by this reason
they may help reduce the risk of some diseases. Experimental evidence has reported that these carrot compounds
exert antioxidative, anticarcinogenic, and immunoenhancer effects. Anti-diabetic, cholesterol and cardiovascular
disease lowering, anti-hypertensive, hepatoprotective, renoprotective, and wound healing benefits of carrot have
also been reported. The mechanism by which these carrot compounds decrease the risk of some diseases is com-
plex and sometimes largely unknown.
The cardio- and hepatoprotective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects of carrot
seed extracts are also noteworthy.
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... Written records in Europe indicated that carrots were cultivated prior to the tenth century. The colors of the carrot root flesh may be white, yellow, orange, red, purple, or very dark purple [3]. Among 39 fruits and vegetables carrots have been ranked 10th in nutritional value. ...
... Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Potassium and magnesium in carrots help in functioning of muscles [3]. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae. ...
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... [26] Some studies are against our findings, it was reported that the consumption of carrot seeds by reducing acetyl cholinesterase activity improved diazepam-induced forgetfulness. [28][29][30] In these studies, the effect of carrot on forgetfulness has been studied, while in our study, the effect of carrot on normal rats was investigated. So these differences can be attributable to differences in tested statues. ...
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The ethanolic extract of Daucus carota seeds (DCE) was investigated for anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity at the doses [per oral (p.o.)] of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg body weight. For evaluation of inflammation carrageenan-, histamine- and serotonin-induced paw edema served as acute models and formaldehyde-induced arthritis served as a chronic model in rats. The acetic acid-induced writhing response and formalin-induced paw licking time in the early and late phases of mice were used to assess analgesic activity. The higher doses of DCE (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) were inhibiting carrageenan, histamine and serotonin-induced paw edema as well as formaldehyde-induced arthritis successfully. In addition, DCE (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) significantly attenuated the writhing responses induced by an intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid and late phase of pain response induced by an subplantar injection of formalin in mice.
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Daucus carota Linn. commonly known as carrot belongs to the family Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) and is cultivated almost all over the world as a useful vegetable. Carrot is widely consumed as an aphrodisiac and nervine tonic and its scraped root is used as a local stimulant for indolent ulcers. In light of the above, the present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of D. carota seeds on memory in rats. The ethanolic extract of Daucus carota (DCE) was administered orally in three doses (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg) for seven successive days to different groups of young and aged rats. Elevated plus-maze, Hebb-Williams maze and hexagonal swimming pool served as the exteroceptive behavioral models for testing memory. Diazepam-, scopolamine - and ageing-induced amnesia served as the interoceptive behavioral models. DCE (200 and 400 mg/kg, p.o.) showed significant improvement in memory of young and aged rats by using elevated plus maze, Hebb Williams maze and hexagonal swimming pool. DCE also reversed the amnesia induced by scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg, i.p.) and diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.). These finding suggest that D. carota seeds appear to be a promising candidate for improving memory and it would be worthwhile to explore the potential of this plant in the management of Alzheimer patients.
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The alcoholic extract of Daucus carota Linn (carrot) seed was administered at different doses ranging from 50 to 250 mg/kg. Bodyweight after coitus showed a significant antifertility effect, which was dose dependent. The administration of this extract at a lower dose showed anti-implantational activity, whereas higher doses caused fetus resorption. The main effect of the extract appears to be an abortifacient activity. At higher dose levels the extract demonstrated an estrogenic nature with a prolonged estrous phase, whereas lower doses showed an antiestrogenic nature and an increase in the percentage duration of the diestrous phase of the estrous cycle. This extract is neither progestational nor antiprogestational. A uterine mast cell study directly reflected the hormonal nature of the extract and the mode of antifertility activity in rats.
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The effect of water stress on the polyacetylenic constituents of carrots (Daucus carota L, cv ‘Orlando Gold’) was studied by liquid chromatographic analysis. Eleven polyacetylenes were isolated fiom plants grown in the greenhouse under normal conditions and under conditions simulating drought or waterlogging. Three compounds were identified. These include the known carrot polyacetylenes falcarinol (cis-heptadeca-1,9-diene-4,6-diyn-3-ol), falcarindiol (cis-heptadeca-l,9-diene-4,6-diyn-3,8-diol), and falcarindiol-3-monoacetate (cis-3-acetoxyheptadeca-1,9-diene-4,6-diyn-8-ol). Three of the eight unidentified compounds were produced only by one or both stressed samples. The other eight (including the three knowns) were less concentrated in the stressed samples than in the control.
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Daucus carotaL. (Family: Apiaceae alt.Umbelliferae), commonly known as ‘wild carrot’ or ‘Queen Anne's-lace,’ is an ecologically invasive erect biennial naturalized to Scotland. The ethno-botanical uses of this species include applications in the treatment of cough, diarrhea, dysentery, cancer, malaria and tumors, and as an antiseptic, abortifacient, aphrodisiac, carminative, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The major constituents isolated from the methanol extract of D. carotaseeds by reversed-phase preparative high performance chroma-tography were luteolin, luteolin 3′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside and luteolin 4′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, three flavones. The constituents were assessed for their antibacterial and free radical scavenging activities, as well as toxicity towards brine shrimp. Among these three flavones, lu-teolin showed the highest degree of free radical scavenging activity (RC50 = 4.3 ×10−4 mg/mL) in the 2,2-diphenyl-l-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. Both luteolin and its 4′-0-glucoside demonstrated bactericidal activity against Staphylococcus aureusand Escherichia coli(Minimum Inhibitory Concentration [MIC] = 5.0 ×10−2-1.0 ×10−1 mg/mL). Luteolin also demonstrated antibactericidal activity against Bacillus cereusand Citrobacter freundii(MIC = 5.0 ×10−2 mg/mL). Luteolin 3′-0-glucoside showed bactericidal activity against Bacillus cereusand Lactobacillus plantarum(MIC = 2.5 ×10−1 mg/mL and 5 ×10−1 mg/ mL, respectively). In the brine shrimp lethality assay, the LD50 value of luteolin was 5.3 ×10−2 mg/mL, and that of its 3′-0-glucoside and 4′-0-glucoside were > 1.0 mg/mL.