An activity-directed fractionation and purification process was used to identify the antioxidative components of adlay hulls. Hulls of adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) were extracted with methanol and then separated into water, 1-butanol, ethyl acetate, and hexane fractions. The 1-butanol-soluble fraction exhibited greater capacity to scavenge 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals when compared with fractions soluble in water, ethyl acetate, and hexane phases. The 1-butanol fraction was then subjected to separation and purification using Diaion HP-20 chromatography, silica gel chromatography, and HPLC. Six compounds showing strong antioxidant activity were identified by spectroscopic methods (1H NMR, 13C NMR, IR, and MS) and by comparison with authentic samples to be coniferyl alcohol (1), syringic acid (2), ferulic acid (3), syringaresinol (4), 4-ketopinoresinol (5), and a new lignan, mayuenolide (6).
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