Analysis of Antioxidant Activities, Bioactive Compound Content, and Cytotoxic Effects of Green Oak and Red Oak Lettuce from Hydroponic and Organic Cultivation Systems


  • Noppakun Pakdeenarong Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, Thailand
  • Kwanyuen Leamsamrong Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Rajabhat MahaSarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44000, Thailand
  • Vijitra Luang-In Natural Antioxidant Innovation Research Unit, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Technology, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, Thailand



Hydroponic lettuce, Cytotoxicity, Antioxidant activity, Flavonoid


The antioxidant properties of Lactuca sativa var. crispa L. (green oak and red oak lettuce) grown under hydroponic and organic cultivation systems were compared using water and ethanol extraction. The 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was implemented to explore the cytotoxicity of hydroponically grown green oak and red oak lettuce ethanolic extracts toward the human liver cancer HepG2 cell line. Total flavonoid content (TFC) in hydroponic green and red oak lettuce aqueous and ethanolic extracts was higher than in organically grown lettuce. The TFC of hydroponic red oak lettuce extracted with ethanol was 2.92±0.10 mg GAE/g DW, higher than organically grown (1.73± 0.09 mg GAE/g DW). The total phenolic content (TPC) of organic lettuce was higher than lettuce grown hydroponically. Antioxidant potential was assessed by the DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP assays. The antioxidant potential of organic lettuce extracts was higher than hydroponically grown lettuce, indicating that the action of the hydroponic system enhanced flavonoid contents, with hydroponic extracts inhibiting cancer cell growth. The green oak lettuce extract had a moderate cytotoxic effect (IC50= 93.81±1.94 µg/mL), significantly stronger than the extract of red oak (IC50= 347.50±8.39 µg/mL) exhibiting a very weak effect.  Results showed that the hydroponic cultivation system stimulated the production of flavonoids and enhanced the cytotoxicity of plant extracts toward the HepG2 cell line.


Shi M, Gu J, Wu H, Rauf A, Emran TB, Khan Z, Mitra S, Aljohani ASM, Alhumaydhi FA, Al-Awthan YS, Bahattab O, Thiruvengadam M, Suleria HAR. Phytochemicals, Nutrition, Metabolism, Bioavailability, and Health Benefits in Lettuce-A Comprehensive Review. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022; 11(6):1158. Doi: 10.3390/antiox11061158.

Zhou W, Liang X, Dai P, Chen Y, Zhang Y, Zhang M, Lu L, Jin C, Lin X. Alteration of Phenolic Composition in Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) by Reducing Nitrogen Supply Enhances its Anti-Proliferative Effects on Colorectal Cancer Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(17):4205. Doi: 10.3390/ijms20174205.

Temple NJ. Antioxidants and disease: more questions than answers. Nutr. Res. 2000; 20: 449-459.

López A, Javier GA, Fenoll J, Hellín P, Flores P. Chemical composition and antioxidant capacity of lettuce: Comparative study of regular-sized (Romaine) and baby-sized (Little Gem and Mini Romaine) types. J. Food Compos. Anal. 2014; 33(1):39-48. Doi: 10.1016/j.jfca.2013.10.001.

Velazquez-Gonzalez RS, Garcia-Garcia AL, Ventura-Zapata E, Barceinas-Sanchez JDO, Sosa-Savedra JC. A Review on Hydroponics and the Technologies Associated for Medium- and Small-Scale Operations. Agriculture. 2022; 12(5):646. Doi:10.3390/agriculture12050646.

Erharuyi O, Adhikari A, Falodun A, Jabeen A, Imad R, Ammad M, Choudhary MI, Gören N. Cytotoxic, Anti-inflammatory, and Leishmanicidal Activities of Diterpenes Isolated from the Roots of Caesalpinia pulcherrima. Planta Med. 2017; 83(1-02):104-110. Doi: 10.1055/s-0042-110407.

Ijoma KI, Ajiwe VIE, Odinma SC. The organic extracts from the leaves of Ficus thonningii Blume, Jatropha tanjorensis J.L Ellis and Saroja and Justicia carnea Lindley as potential nutraceutical antioxidants and functional foods. Trends Phytochem. Res. 2023;7:76-85.

Long LH, Halliwell B. Antioxidant and prooxidant abilities of foods and beverages. Meth. Enzymol. 2001; 335:181-190.

Singleton VL, Orthofer R, Lamuela-Raventós RM. Analysis of total phenols and other oxidation substrates and antioxidants by means of Folin-Ciocalteu reagent. Meth. Enzymol. 1999; 299:152-178.

Chang CC, Yang MH, Wen HM, Chern JC. Estimation of total flavonoid content in propolis by two complementary colorimetric methods. J. Food Drug Anal. 2002; 10:178-182.

Luang-In V, Saengha W, Karirat T, Buranrat B, Matra K, Deeseenthum S, Katisart T. Effect of cold plasma and elicitors on bioactive contents, antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity of Thai rat-tailed radish microgreens. J Sci Food Agric. 2021; 101:1685-1698.

Liu X, Ardo S, Bunning M, Parry J, Zhou K, Stushnoff C, Stoniker F, Yu LL, Kendall, P. Total phenolic content and DPPH radical scavenging activity of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) grown in Colorado. LWT - Food Sci. Technol. 2007; 40:552-557.

Ozgen S, Sekerci S. Effect of leaf position on the distribution of phytochemicals and antioxidant capacity among green and red lettuce cultivars. Span. J. Agric. Res. 2011; 3: 801-809.

Falodun A, Irabor EE. Phytochemical, proximate, antioxidant and free radical scavenging evaluations of Calliandria surinamensis. Acta Pol Pharm. 2008; 65(5):571-575.

Sofo A, Lundegardh B, Martensson A, Manfra M, Pepe G, Sommella E, De Nisco M, Tenore GC, Campiglia P, Copa A. Different agronomic and fertilization systems affect polyphenolic profile, antioxidant capacity and mineral composition of lettuce. Sci. Hortic. 2016; 204:106-115.

Viacava GE, Roura SI, Berrueta LA, Iriondo C, Gallo B, Alonso‐Salces RM. Characterization of phenolic compounds sin green and red oak‐leaf lettuce cultivars by UHPLC‐DAD‐ESI‐QToF/MS using MSE scan mode. J. Mass Spectrom. 2017; 52:873-902.

Tungmunnithum D, Thongboonyou A, Pholboon A, Yangsabai A. Flavonoids and other phenolic compounds from medicinal plants for pharmaceutical and medical aspects: An overview. Medicines (Basel). 2018; 5:93. Doi: 10.3390/medicines5030093.

Romani A, Pinelli P, Galardi C, Sani G, Cimato A, Heimler D. Polyphenols in greenhouse and open-air-grown lettuce. Food Chem. 2002; 79:337-342.

Szulc P, Krauklis D, Ambroży-Deręgowska K, Wróbel B, Zielewicz W, Niedbała G, Kardasz P, Niazian M. Evaluation of the effect of conventional and stabilized nitrogen fertilizers on the nutritional status of several maize cultivars (Zea mays L.) in critical growth stages using plant analysis. Agronomy. 2023; 13:480. Doi :10.3390/agronomy13020480.

Kimura M, Rodriguez-Amaya DB. Carotenoid composition of hydroponic leafy vegetables. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003; 51:2603-2607.

Zapata-Vahos IC, Rojas-Rodas F, David D. Gutierrez-Monsalve JA, Castro-Restrepo D. Comparison of antioxidant contents of green and red leaf lettuce cultivated in hydroponic systems in greenhouses and conventional soil cultivation. Rev. Fac. Nac. Agron. 2020; 73:9077-9088.

Durazzo A, Azzini E, Lazzé MC, Raguzzini A, Pizzala R, Maiani G, Palomba L, Maiani G. Antioxidants in Italian head lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata L.) grown in organic and conventional systems under greenhouse conditions. J. Food Biochem. 2013; 38:56–61.

Arina AN, Azrina A. Comparison of phenolic content and antioxidant activity of fresh and fried local fruits. Int. Food Res. J. 2016; 23:1717.

Czech A, Szmigielski M, Sembratowicz I. Nutritional value and antioxidant capacity of organic and conventional vegetables of the genus Allium. Sci Rep. 2022; 12:18713. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-23497-y.

Geneva M, Kostadinov K, Filipov S, Kirov, E, Stancheva I. Analysis of the antioxidant capacity of lettuce growth at different fertilizer regimes. C.R. Acad. Bulg. Sci. 2021; 74: 145-154.

Llorach R, Martínez-Sánchez A, Tomás-Barberán FA, Gil MI, Ferreres F. Characterization of polyphenols and antioxidant properties of five lettuce varieties and escarole. Food Chem. 2008; 108:1028-1038.

Kim MJ, Moon Y, Tou JC, Mou B, Waterland NL. Nutritional value, bioactive compounds and health benefits of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). J. Food Compos. Anal. 2016; 49:19-34.

Naseem S, Ismail H. In vitro and in vivo evaluations of antioxidative, anti-Alzheimer, antidiabetic and anticancer potentials of hydroponically and soil grown Lactuca sativa. BMC Complement. Med. Ther. 2022; 22:30. Doi :10.1186/s12906-022-03520-5.




How to Cite

Pakdeenarong, N., Leamsamrong, K., & Luang-In, V. (2024). Analysis of Antioxidant Activities, Bioactive Compound Content, and Cytotoxic Effects of Green Oak and Red Oak Lettuce from Hydroponic and Organic Cultivation Systems . Tropical Journal of Natural Product Research (TJNPR), 8(6), 7436–7440.