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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 11  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 123 - 132

Phytonutrient, Mineral Composition and In vitro Antioxidant Activity of Leaf and Stem Bark Powders of Pappea capensis (L.)

Geoffrey M. Karau, Eliud N.M. Njagi, Alex K. Machocho and Laura N. Wangai    

Abstract: Phytochemicals, phytonutrients and mineral composition of medicinal plants have increased the use of plants as nutraceuticals and therapeuticals. The aim of this study was therefore to determine phytochemical, phytonutrient and mineral composition and in vitro antioxidant activity of Pappea capensis (L.). Leaf and stem bark of P. capensis were collected, air dried under shade and then crushed into powder. The powder was used in the determination of ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, thiamine, nicotinamide, retinol, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene concentrations using HPLC. Phytochemicals were screened and quantified according to standard methods and the mineral composition was determined using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) system. Results show that except for alkaloids which were higher in the stem bark than the leaf extracts, flavonoids and saponins were higher in the leaf than in the stem bark extracts; all the phytonutrients quantified in the leaf and stem bark extracts were higher in the leaves compared to the stem barks except for ascorbic acid which was higher in the stem barks than the leaves; among the minerals quantified Cr, Mn, V and Al were higher in the leafs than in the stem barks; Se, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mo, Co, Ni, As, Hg and Pb were similar in both the leaf and stem bark of P. capensis. In conclusion, P. capensis contains phytochemicals, phytonutrients and mineral elements that contribute to its effectiveness as a traditional medicine.

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