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J Food Sci. 2017 Mar;82(3):757-764. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13619. Epub 2017 Feb 23.

Structural Characterization and Antifatigue Effect In Vivo of Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp) Polysaccharide.

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College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Agro-Food Processing, Zhejiang Engineering Center for Food Technology and Equipment, Zhejiang Univ, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, P.R., China.
Tibet Hongfa Shengtao Food Co., Ltd., Lasa, Tibet, 850000, P.R., China.
College of Life Sicences, Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, P.R., China.
Dept. of Pharmacology and Key Lab of Ministry of Education in Fertility Preservation and Maintenance, Ningxia Medical Univ., Yinchuan, Ningxia, 750004, P.R., China.


Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp) polysaccharides (MP) with purity of 99.2% were obtained to investigate their structural characteristics and antifatigue effect in vivo. The physicochemical properties of MP were analyzed through high-performance gel filtration chromatography, IR, monosaccharide composition, methylation, GC-MS, and NMR analyses. The antifatigue effect of MP was evaluated by using a mouse weight-loaded swimming model. MP is an acidic heteropolysaccharide with an average molecular weight (Mw ) of 793.5 kDa. It is composed of D-GalA: D-Glc: L-Ara: D-Man: D-Gal: L-Rha = 35.07:29.98:16.98:13.01:4.21:0.75 (mol, %). The findings revealed that MP contained β-1,3-Galp(A), β-1,3-Glcp, and α-1, 3-Manp linked alternatingly to form a backbone (5:4:1). MP (above mid-dosage 50 mg/kg bw/d) could effectively elongate swimming durations and accelerate average swimming speeds (within the 1st 5 min) of mice (P < 0.05) and improve the serous biochemical parameters of mice. Compared with the control model, high-dosage (100 mg/kg bw/d) MP treatment could significantly enhance glutathione peroxidase and creatine kinase activities (P < 0.05) and decreased lactate dehydrogenase activity (P < 0.01). High-dosage MP could significantly reduce the levels of blood urea nitrogen, lactic acid, and malondialdehyde (P < 0.05). MP is an acidic polysaccharide with a high D-GalA content, which could be responsible for the antifatigue effect of maca.


antifatigue effect in vivo; chemical structure; maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp); polysaccharide

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