Evaluation of Betulin and Betulinic Acid Content in Birch Bark from Different Forestry Areas of Western Carpathians

In order to evaluate the content of betulin and betulinic acids in Birch barks originating from Western Carpathians, Transylvania (Romania) forests, in relation with the location of birch trees, it was recorded the geographic and vegetation conditions at the specific locations of each type of sample. Two groups of birch tree bark (totally 10 samples) were collected, from two regions, pasture surfaces where birch trees appeared spontaneously (samples 1 to 5) and another group from forests of combined trees, including mainly pine trees (samples 6 to 10). The identification and quantitation of betulin and betulinic acid were made by High Performance Liquid Chromatography with UV detection. In the first region it has been found mean concentrations of 126.85 ± 12.56 mg/g betulin bark while acid betulinic had average values of 12.78 ± 1.26 mg/g bark. In the second region we found mean concentrations of 89.84 ± 8.43 mg/g betulin of bark while acid betulinic had average values of 10.60 ± 0.97 mg/g bark. Statistically, significant differences were noticed between the two regions, the first region being richer in these molecules. Generally, the percentage of betulinic acid was around 11.23% against betulin, higher in the second region, even the absolute concentrations were lower for both molecules. These data are useful indicators of the potential offered by birch bark sources found in Transylvania region, to obtain extracts enriched in betulin and betulinic acid.

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