The alkaloids michellamines A, B, and C are natural products isolated from a Central African tropical plant Ancistrocladus korupensis. We have investigated the radical scavenging ability of these compounds. The alkaloids inhibited the azo-induced oxidation of beta-phycoerythrin with IC50 values in the 0.5- to 0.8-microM range. Michellamine B also protected rat liver mitochondria against lipid peroxidation induced by adenosine diphosphate and Fe2+. The alkaloids were more potent antioxidants in these assays than several compounds being considered clinically as chemoprevention agents.