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Proximate composition and biological activity of food plants gathered by chilean Amerindians

Composition proximal y actividad biológica de plantas alimenticias recolectadas por Amerin-dios chilenos

Abstract

The proximate composition and biological activity of food plants and mushrooms gathered by Chilean Amerindians were assessed. The gathered plants served primarily as sources of carbohydrates with highest values for Dioscorea tubers, Prosopis alba pods meal and Bromus catharticus seeds. The mushrooms Clavaria coralloides and Boletus loyus proved to be the best protein sources in our survey, but deficient in the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Some extracts of the plants and mushrooms under study showed biological activity as free radical scavengers, enzyme inhibitors, hypotensive or DNA binding effect. Free radical scavenging activity was detected in Cryptocarya alba fruit extract, while Typha angustifolia showed a strong DNA binding effect at 0.50 mg/ml. Methanolic extracts of the Apiaceae species Sanicula graveolens and Apium australe were moderately active as β-glucuronidase inhibitors at 50 fig/ml.

Resumen

Compositión proximal y actividad biológica de plantas alimenticias recolectadas por Amerindios chilenos. Se determine la composition proximal y la actividad biológica de plantas y hongos alimenticios recolectados por amerindios de Chile. Las plantas colectadas fueron en conjunto una fuente de carbohidratos, con valores mayores en los tubérculos de Dioscorea, la harina de frutos de Prosopis alba y los frutos de Bromus catharticus. Los hongos Clavaria coralloides y Boletus loyus resultaron ser las mejores fuentes proteicas de este estudio, siendo ambos, sin embargo, deficitarios en los aminodcidos esenciales metionina y cisteina. Algunos extrados de las plantas y hongos en estudio mostraron actividad biológica como atrapadores de radicales libres, inhibidores enzimáticos, efecto hipotensor o union al ADN. Se detecta actividad atrapadora de radicales libres en el extracto de frutos de Cryptocarya alba, asi como un fuerte efecto de union al ADN del extracto de Typha angustifolia a 0.50 mg/ml. Extractos metanólicos de las Apiaceae Sanicula graveolens y Apium australe fueron moderadamente activos como inhibidores de la enzima β-glucuronidasa a 50 ug/ml.

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Schmeda-Hirschmann, G., Razmilic, I., Gutierrez, M.I. et al. Proximate composition and biological activity of food plants gathered by chilean Amerindians. Econ Bot 53, 177 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02866496

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Key Words

  • Native food plants
  • mushrooms
  • proximate composition
  • biological activity
  • Bromus catharticus
  • Dioscorea spp
  • Prosopis spp
  • Clavaria coralloides