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Determination of St. John's Wort Components in Dietary Supplements and Functional Foods by Liquid Chromatography

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Abstract:

St. John's wort ( Hypericum perforatum L.) preparations, a top-selling botanical dietary supplement used primarily as an antidepressant, has recently been used as an ingredient in some food products sold as functional foods. A rapid extraction technique followed by a liquid chromatographic (LC) method was developed to determine 4 characteristic bioactive compounds (pseudohypericin, hypericin, hyperforin, and adhyperforin) from St. John's wort in dietary supplements and functional foods to which it was added. Solid samples, including including dried leaf/flower mixture, dietary supplement capsules, tea bags, puff and snack bar, were extracted with methanol by sonication.

Noncarbonated, fruit-flavored drinks were centrifuged and mixed with methanol. Compounds were then determined by isocratic, reversed-phase LC with UV detection at 2 wavelengths and further identified or confirmed by photodiode array spectra and LC/mass spectrometry. Within-laboratory method variations (% RSD) were satisfactory. Very low amounts, if any, of the 4 components were found in drink and puff samples, and none was found in the snack bar. The methods developed provide a useful means for the determination of St. John's wort components in dietary supplements and functional foods.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Center for Toxicological Research, Division of Chemistry, HFT-230, 3900 NCTR Rd, Jefferson, AR 72079. 2: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Center for Toxicological Research, Division of Chemistry, HFT-230, 3900 NCTR Rd, Jefferson, AR 72079; Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute, 1120 Marshall St, Little Rock, AR 72202. 3: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Center for Toxicological Research, Division of Chemistry, HFT-230, 3900 NCTR Rd, Jefferson, AR 72079; Shantou University Medical College, The Central Laboratory, Shantou, Guangdong, 515031, People's Republic of China. 4: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center foor Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Food Additive Safety, Division of Petition Review, HFS-265, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy, College Park, MD 20740.

Publication date: November 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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