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Comparative analysis of phytochemical composition and anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of Eruca sativa grown at high altitude than at lower altitude

Nitish Kumar, Bhupinder Kaur, Shardulya Shukla, M. K. Patel, M. S. Thakur, Raj Kumar, Om Prakash Chaurasia, Madhu Khatri, and Shweta Saxena

Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Defence Research and Development Organization, Leh-Ladakh, India



Received: 17 February 2022  Accepted: 8 August 2022


High altitude environment throws unparalleled survival challenges to human sojourners, and unique phyto-compounds from functional foods are known to aid faster acclimatization to high altitude. Thus, the present investigation aimed to evaluate the comparative phyto-chemical composition and anti-oxidant benefits of high altitude (3,524 m, Leh-Ladakh) vs. low altitude (321 m, Chandigarh) grown Eruca sativa (Arugula) plants. To further substantiate its functional food benefits, in-silico molecular docking of selected phyto-compounds of E. sativa was done, which indicated that compounds derived from E. sativa may effectively possess anti-inflammatory benefits; among quercetin showed the best glide score for PDE4b (−9.6 kcal/mol) and COX-2 (−8.6 kcal/mol). Further, ADME characterization revealed that phyto-compounds of E. sativa have favourable physicochemical characteristics for oral bioavailability. The aqueous extract of Leh grown plants showed higher values of TPC (31.90 ± 1.09 μg GAE/mg), FRAP (216.46 ± 3.53 µM TE/mg), TFC (33.54 ± 0.92 µM RE/mg), IC50 of DPPH (3.60 ± 0.22 mg/mL) and ABTS (0.11 ± 0.00 mg/mL), while 70% methanol extract showed higher value of TAC (120.21 ± 2.83 μg AAE/mg) than extracts of Chandigarh grown plants. Also, polyphenols and flavonoids correlated well with anti-oxidant activities. RP-HPLC–DAD with MS-analysis revealed that kaempferol and quercetin were significantly higher in Leh samples (7.01 ± 0.11 and 0.33 ± 0.00 µg/mg) than in Chandigarh samples. GC–MS study of hexane and chloroform extracts from Leh and Chandigarh samples revealed 7, 33, and 7, 47 compounds, respectively. Overall, this study concludes that E. sativa grown at high altitudes gets enriched with health-promoting bioactive phyto-compounds in comparison with plants grown at lower altitudes.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Arugula; Flavonoids; Polyphenolics; Antioxidant activity; RP-HPLC–DAD

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02418-3


Chemical Papers 76 (12) 7759–7782 (2022)

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