Pracparatum mungo (Lu-Do Huang) is a traditional Chinese functional medicine made from the natural fermentation of mung bean (L Dòu) mixed with other Chinese medicines. It has been recognized as having liver protecting and detoxifying effects. As mung beans have been verified to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antipyretic, and whitening actions, the present research utilized thein vitro , ex vivo , and in vivo experimental models to investigate the antioxidant and melanin inhibiting effects of P. mungo on the skin. The in vitro experiment revealed that P. mungo methanol extract (PMME) and P. mungo ethanol extract (PMEE) possess the capacity to clear α,α-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals and inhibit tyrosinase activity. The ex vivo experiment indicated that PMEE can promote the growth of MDCK cells and increase the enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase in MDCK cells. On the other hand, PMME and PMEE can suppress the proliferation of A375 cells, and PMEE can reduce the enzymatic activities of SOD and catalase in A375 cells. The in vivo results showed that P. mungo can enhance the enzymatic performance of SOD, Catalase, and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in the liver. The results also showed that P. mungo has antioxidant characteristics and can inhibit tyrosinase activity, thereby promoting the growth of skin tissues and suppressing the proliferation of A375 cells, and thus enhancing the effects that the antioxidant enzymatic performance has on the liver. These results can be applied in the development of tyrosinase inhibitors or antioxidants used for the inhibition of melanin biosynthesis or for auto-oxidation in further industrial applications, particularly those relating to functional food or cosmetic compositions.
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