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Amaranth

Our evidence-based analysis on amaranth features 4 unique references to scientific papers.

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Things To Know & Note

Also Known As

Amaranthus

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Scientific Research on Amaranth

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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]

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]

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]

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] 

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]

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]