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Anales de la Facultad de Medicina

Print version ISSN 1025-5583


SUAREZ, Silvia et al. Aquous Lepidium meyenii Walp (maca) extract and its role as an adaptogen, in an endurance animal model. An. Fac. med. [online]. 2009, vol.70, n.3, pp.181-185. ISSN 1025-5583.

Introduction: Lepidium meyenii Walp (maca) is a Peruvian Andean root used as food due to its nutritional value and ethnomedical properties, being part of traditional medicine. Objectives: To determine yellow maca aqueous extract adaptogen role on muscle tissue enzymes in an endurance and oxidative stress animal model. Design: Experimental. Setting: Biochemistry and Nutrition Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru. Biological material: Yellow maca aqueous extract and newly weaned male rats. Interventions: Administration of yellow maca aqueous extract in newly weaned male rats divided into four groups: (I) control, (II) 0,4 mg maca/g weight, (III) 0,8 mg maca/g, and (IV) 1,2 mg maca/g. The aqueous extract was administered by orogastric cannula. Weights were controlled. Swimming test was applied after 30 days of treatment. The animals were sacrificed and 10% homogenized muscle was prepared. Main outcome measures: Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzymes activity; lipid peroxidation (TBARS) was measured as an indicator of the oxidative process. Results: The endurance test performance was respectively: (I) 7,09 min; (II) 11,25 min; (III) 11,27 min; (IV) 12,71 min. Groups I, II, III and IV respective enzymatic activities were: SOD (U/mL) 36,6, 18,2, 17,2 and 18,2; CAT (U/L) 18,6, 16,5, 13,4 and 10,3; and LDH (U/mL) 11,6, 6,5, 6,0 and 5,8. TBARS (umol/g tissue): 5,82, 7,15, 4,11 and 4,06. Conclusions: Yellow maca aqueous extract administration helped body response facing a physically exhausting stressful situation, most probably corresponding to an adaptogen role.

Keywords : Lepidium; plant extracts; enzyme activation; physical endurance; oxidative stress; lipid peroxidation.

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