Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.49(5) > 1081450

J Nutr Health. 2016 Oct;49(5):277-287. Korean.
Published online October 31, 2016.
© 2016 The Korean Nutrition Society
Protective effect of Korean diet food groups on lymphocyte DNA damage and contribution of each food group to total dietary antioxidant capacity (TDAC)
Min Young Lee, Jeong-Hwa Han and Myung-Hee Kang
Department of Food & Nutrition, Daedeok Valley Campus, Hannam University, Daejeon 34054, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-42-629-8791, Email:
Received September 01, 2016; Revised September 17, 2016; Accepted October 05, 2016.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



This study was performed to compare total phenolic contents, in vitro antioxidant capacity, and reduction effect of Korean food groups on ex vivo DNA damage in human cells and analyze correlations between each indicator.


Vegetable foods in the Korean diet based the results of the KNHANES V-2 (2011) were classified into 10 food groups: cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, kimchi, seaweeds, potatoes, mushrooms, legumes, and oils. Eighty-four foods constituted more than 1% of the total intake in each food group and finally designated as vegetable foods in the Korean diet. Total phenolic content of each food group was measured. Further, in vitro antioxidant capacity was measured based on DPPH radical scavenging assay, TEAC assay, and ORACROO• assay. Ex vivo DNA damage in human lymphocytes was assessed using comet assay.


Total phenolic contents of food groups of the Korean diet increased in the order of mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, seaweeds, and kimchi. Meanwhile, antioxidant rankings of food groups as mean values from the three in vitro test methods increased in the order of mushrooms, seaweeds, vegetables, kimchi, and fruits. Protection against ex vivo DNA damage in human lymphocytes was highest in mushrooms, followed by vegetables, fruits, seaweeds, and kimchi. The rankings of the food groups for total phenolic content, in vitro DAC, and ex vivo DNA protection activity were similar, and correlations between each indicator were significantly high.


Mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, and seaweeds among the tested food groups in the Korean diet showed high total phenolic contents, in vitro antioxidant capacities, and protection against DNA damage. Correlations between each indicator in terms of total phenolic content, in vitro antioxidant capacity, and ex vivo DNA protection between each food group were found to be particularly high.

Keywords: total dietary antioxidant capacity; Korean diet; DPPH; total phenolics; DNA damag


Fig. 1
Total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of plant foods based on the dry mater of the edible part in the Korean diet. Different letters are significantly different among groups by Duncan’s multiple range test. Total: mixture of 10 Korean plant food groups
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Fig. 2
Comparison of in vitro antioxidant activity of plant foods in Korean diet. Total: mixture of 10 Korean plant food groups
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Fig. 3
Contribution of total antioxidant capacities (mean of DPPH, ORAC and TEAC) from all plant foods as a percentage of total dietary antioxidant capacities (TDAC) from per capita daily intake in the Korean diet (KNHANES V-2, 2011). The TDAC values were obtained by multiplying the total antioxidant capacity of each food group and the intake of each food.
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Fig. 4
Relative score of lymphocyte DNA damage by Comet assay expressed as tail moment (TM) of different food groups in Korean diet. Different letters are significantly different among groups by Duncan’s multiple range test (p < 0.05). P: positive control (H2O2) Total: mixture of 10 Korean plant food groups
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Table 1
Intake of plant foods and oils in the Korean diet (KNHANES V-2, 2011)
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Table 2
Total dietary antioxidant capacity (TDAC) of food based on per capita daily intake in the Korean diet
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Table 3
Protective effect on lymphocyte DNA damage by Comet assay expressed as TM, TL, TD of food groups in whole blood
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Table 4
Correlation between DNA damage protective effect and antioxidant capacities (total phenolic contents, DPPH, ORACROO•, and TEAC)
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*This study was supported by grants from the Basic Science Research Program of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Republic of Korea (NRF-2013R1A1A3006963).

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