Quinoa seeds leach phytoecdysteroids and other compounds with anti-diabetic properties.

Food chemistry

PubMedID: 24912714

Graf BL, Poulev A, Kuhn P, Grace MH, Lila MA, Raskin I. Quinoa seeds leach phytoecdysteroids and other compounds with anti-diabetic properties. Food Chem. 2014;163178-85.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) contains high levels of biologically active phytoecdysteroids, which have been implicated in plant defense from insects, and have shown a range of beneficial pharmacological effects in mammals. We demonstrated that the most prevalent phytoecdysteroid, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20HE), was secreted (leached) from intact quinoa seeds into water during the initial stages of seed germination. Leaching efficiency was optimized by ethanol concentration (70% ethanol), temperature (80°C), time (4h), and solvent ratio (5ml/g seed). When compared to extraction of macerated seeds, the leaching procedure released essentially all the 20HE available in the seeds (491µg/g seed). The optimized quinoa leachate (QL), containing 0.86% 20HE, 1.00% total phytoecdysteroids, 2.59% flavonoid glycosides, 11.9% oil, and 20.4% protein, significantly lowered fasting blood glucose in obese, hyperglycemic mice. Leaching effectively releases and concentrates bioactive phytochemicals from quinoa seeds, providing an efficient means to produce a food-grade mixture that may be useful for anti-diabetic applications.