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Investigation of the tuber constituents of Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp). Piacente S, Carbone V, Plaza A, Zampelli A, Pizza C.Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Universita degli Studi di Salerno, via Ponte Don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Italy. Journal of Agric Food Chem 2002 Sep 25; 50 (20): 5621-5

Lepidium meyenii, known in South America as Maca, has received attention worldwide as a powerful energizer that improves physical and mental conditions and increases fertility. Because of these reports, we investigated the secondary metabolites of the tuber of Maca. The methanol extract of the tuber of Maca contained, in addition to free sugars and amino acids, the following: uridine, malic acid and its benzoyl derivative, and the glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin.

Because glucosinolates and their derived products have received increasing attention due to their biological activities, the occurrence of glucosinolate degradation products in the hexane extract was also investigated, and benzylisothiocyanate and its m-methoxy derivative were isolated. The two glucosinolates were semi-quantified by HP LC, and benzylisothiocyanate was semi-quantified by GC/MS

The methanol extract of Maca tuber also contained (lR,3S)-1-methyltetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exert many activities on the central nervous system.

PMID: 12236688 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Nutritional evaluation of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) in albino mice and their descendants. Canales M, Aguilar J, Prada A, Marcelo A, Huaman C, Carbajal L. Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Lima-Peru. Arch Latinoam Nutr 2000 Jun; 50 (2): 126-33

With the purpose of evaluate scientifically the nutritional property of Maca, we carried out a controlled study in two generations of albino Swiss mice (parents and breeding). The parents were randomly assigned to one of three nutritional schedules. The food of each group was prepared based on powder from a commercial balanced food (CBF) of which 30% was replaced by raw or cooked Maca according to the corresponding group or pure CBF in the control group.

The groups were this way: 1) Raw Maca Group; 2) Cooked Maca Group; and, 3) Control Group. The results showed that the curves of growth were similar and adequate for the three groups. However, the cooked Maca group showed the best curve. The CBF group had a better growth than raw Maca group. This study demonstrates, in a scientific evaluation, the nutritional capability of Maca.

PMID: 11048583 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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