Amaranth

Last Updated: September 28 2022

Amaranth refers to plants and plant products from the genus Amarantha. Amaranth is grown and eaten as a leaf vegetable (leaves, roots, and stems) and as a grain in many parts of the world.

Amaranth is most often used for




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    1.

    Sources and Composition

    1.1

    Sources

    Amaranth is the common name used to refer to plants in the amaranthus genus (of the Amaranthaceae family).

    Species used in supplementation include amaranthus tricolor,[1] amaranthus paniculatus, amaranthus caudatus, and amaranthus cruentus.[2]

    While the grain of these plants is used nutritively, the leaves are also sometimes used as dietary supplements.[1]

    1.2

    Composition

    Amaranth tends to contain:

    • Betacyanins, the pigments that gives amaranth a red colouration.[2] The overall levels varying depending on growing conditions such as soil quality[2] and light levels.[3] Concentrations have been noted to be in the range of 7-30mg/100g fresh weight of sprouts[2]

    2.

    Cardiovascular Health

    2.1

    Blood Flow

    In otherwise healthy subjects, supplementation of 2g amaranth grain was able to increase both salivary and plasma levels of nitrate and nitrite when compared to placebo.[4]

    3.

    Interactions with Glucose Metabolism

    3.1

    Blood Glucose

    One study using the leaves of amaranthus tricolor (9 grams over three months) in postmenopausal women found that supplementation was associated with a 10.4% reduction in fasting glucose compared to control.[1] This change was attributed to the antioxidant properties of the leaves, as benefit was also found in this study with Moringa oleifera which acts via its antioxidant content.[1]

    4.

    Inflammation and Immunology

    4.1

    Macrophages

    When tested in RAW 264.7 macrophages, amaranth seeds and sprouts from amaranthus cruentus (10 μg/mL) appeared to exert an antiinflammatory effect by inhibiting NF-kB translocation and limiting the amount of IL-6 secreted after stimulation from LPS.[2]

    5.

    Interactions with Oxidation

    5.1

    General

    In postmenopausal women given supplemental amaranth (9 grams of the leaf powder) over the course of three months, supplementation appeared to have a small benefit to the amount of the antioxidant enzyme known as superoxide dismutase (SOD; increase of 10.8%) and concomitant decrease in lipid peroxidation (9.6% assessed by MDA).[1]