Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of macerated herbal oil in dental pulp cells

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Fahsai Kantawong
Sutinee Mungkala
Sawinee Tamang
Ruthairat Manaphan
Pichaporn Thaweenan
Phenphichar Wanachantararak


Background: Sesame oil was used as an oil-pulling mouthwash to reduce the microorganisms that cause gum diseases. Herbs can be used in combination with sesame oil in oral health care. The previous study showed that macerated herbal oil decreased inflammation in human mesenchymal stem cells (HMSCs). It could be hypothesized that the addition of herbs should improve the efficiency in oil pulling.

Objectives: This study aimed to improve the efficiency of sesame oil for oral healthcare and to compare the total phenolic contents and antioxidant activities between sesame oil and macerated herbal oil. Moreover, this study compared the anti-inflammation activities between sesame oil and macerated herbal oil on lipropolysacharide (LPS)-induced dental pulp cells (DPCs).

Materials and methods: The amount of total phenolic content was determined using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Antioxidant activity was investigated using DPPH assay and ferric-reducing power assay. MTT assay was used to determine cytotoxic effect and gene expression was studied using real-time PCR technique.

Results: The phenolic concentration in sesame and macerated herbal oils were not significantly different. However, antioxidant assays indicated that the antioxidant activity of macerated herbal oil was significantly higher than that of sesame oil. Both oils showed no cytotoxic effect on DPCs. Both oils also induced cell proliferation and increased expression of the thioredoxin (TXN) gene. Inflammation of DPCs were induced by LPS and treated with herbal oil or sesame oil to study cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) gene expression. The results of real-time PCR showed a decrease of COX-2 and IL-6 gene expression when LPS-induced DPCs were treated with macerated herbal oil compared to sesame oil.

Conclusion: Macerated herbal oil presented many benefits over sesame oil, including anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation activities. Therefore, adding herbs to sesame oil for oil pulling might protect against periodontal disease.


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Kantawong, F., Mungkala, S., Tamang, S., Manaphan, R., Thaweenan, P., & Wanachantararak, P. (2018). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of macerated herbal oil in dental pulp cells. Journal of Associated Medical Sciences, 51(3), 163-170. Retrieved from
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