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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Sep;6(3):315-6. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen041. Epub 2008 Jun 19.

The Methyltetrahydro-{beta}-Carbolines in Maca (Lepidium meyenii).

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Av. Honorio Delgado 430, Lima 31, Peru.


Maca, a plant native to the Peruvian highlands, contains (1R,3S)-1-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-beta-carboline-3-carboxylic acid (MTCA). The family of the tetrahydro-beta-carbolines has been associated with both biologically helpful and harmful compounds. We present evidence that MTCA is a natural constituent of Maca, and on consumption no toxicity is found. This suggests that, when consumed as multi-component, MTCA may loose its adversity as drug action.

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