Article

Constituents of Lepidium meyenii 'maca'.

National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, University MS 38677, USA.
Phytochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.35). 02/2002; 59(1):105-10. DOI: 10.1016/S0031-9422(01)00395-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The tubers of Lepidium meyenii contain the benzylated derivative of 1,2-dihydro-N-hydroxypyridine, named macaridine, together with the benzylated alkamides (macamides), N-benzyl-5-oxo-6E,8E-octadecadienamide and N-benzylhexadecanamide, as well as the acyclic keto acid, 5-oxo-6E,8E-octadecadienoic acid. The structure elucidation of the isolated compounds was based primarily on 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopic analyses, including 1H-1H COSY, 1H-13C HMQC, 1H-13C HMBC and 1H-1H NOESY experiments, as well as from 1H-15N NMR HMBC correlations for macaridine and N-benzylhexadecanamide.

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    ABSTRACT: Maca, Lepidium meyenii Walpers (Brassicaceae), is an annual herbaceous plant native to the high plateaus of the Peruvian central Andes. Its underground storage hypocotyls have been a traditional medicinal agent and dietary staple since pre-Columbian times. Reported properties include energizing and fertility-enhancing effects. Published reports have focused on the benzylalkamides (macamides) present in dry hypocotyls as one of the main bioactive components. Macamides are secondary amides formed by benzylamine and a fatty acid moiety, with varying hydrocarbon chain lengths and degree of unsaturation. Although it has been assumed that they are usually present in fresh undamaged tissues, analyses show them to be essentially absent from them. However, hypocotyls dried by traditional Andean postharvest practices or industrial oven drying contain up to 800μgg(-1) dry wt (2.3μmolg(-1) dry wt) of macamides. In this study, the generation of macamides and their putative precursors were studied during nine-week traditional drying trials at 4200m altitude and in ovens under laboratory conditions. Freeze-thaw cycles in the open field during drying result in tissue maceration and release of free fatty acids from storage and membrane lipids up to levels of 1200μgg(-1) dry wt (4.3μmolg(-1) dry wt). Endogenous metabolism of the isothiocyanates generated from glucosinolate hydrolysis during drying results in maximal benzylamine values of 4300μgg(-1) dry wt (40.2μmolg(-1) dry wt). Pearson correlation coefficients of the accumulation profiles of benzylamine and free fatty acid to that of macamides showed good values of 0.898 and 0.934, respectively, suggesting that both provide sufficient substrate for amide synthesis during the drying process. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
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