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The Influence of Maca (Lepidium meyenii) on Antioxidant Status, Lipid and Glucose Metabolism in Rat

Abstract

This work focused on the effect of maca on lipid, anti-oxidative, and glucose parameters in hereditary hypertriglyceridemic (HHTg) rat. Maca (1%) was administred to rats as a part of a high-sucrose diet (HSD) for 2 weeks. Rosiglitazone (0.02%) was used as a positive control. Maca significantly decreased the levels of VLDL (very low density lipoproteins), LDL (low density lipoproteins), and total cholesterol, and also the level of TAG (triacylglycerols) in the plasma, VLDL, and liver. Maca, as well as rosiglitazone, significantly improved glucose tolerance, as the decrease of AUC (area under the curve) of glucose showed, and lowered levels of glucose in blood. The activity of SOD (superoxide dismutase) in the liver, the GPX (glutathione peroxidase) in the blood, and the level of GSH (glutathione) in liver increased in all cases significantly. Results demonstrate that maca seems to be promising for a positive influence on chronic human diseases (characterized by atherogenous lipoprotein profile, aggravated antioxidative status, and impaired glucose tolerance), and their prevention.

Introduction

Oxidative stress, increased lipid levels, and disturbances in glucose metabolism are important risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular, oncologic and many other diseases. Diet undoubtedly plays a key role and optimalizing the diet in both quality and quantity, has a preventative function. Fruit and vegetables are an invaluable source of many biologically active substances, including antioxidants. For this reason a diet rich in fruit and vegetables has a positive effect on reducing the incidence of these serious lifestyle diseases.

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