2016 Volume 22 Issue 5 Pages 611-621
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of Lepidium meyenii (maca) on hypoxia tolerance and fatigue relief, and to determine its active constituents. The results showed that, in the mouse model, maca powder could significantly prolong hypoxia time (HT) and forced swim time (FST) and optimize blood sugar ratio (BSR), liver glycogen (LG), muscle glycogen (MG), blood lactic acid, and lactic dehydrogenase. Based on these results, aqueous extracts and maca water-soluble polysaccharide (MWP) were isolated. The total sugar content of MWP is 90.41 ± 2.55%, and the main monosaccharide component is glucose (79.88%). In the mouse model, HT (40.76 ± 7.97 min), FST (48.32 ± 10.76 min), BSR (4.49 ± 4.04%), LG (11.27 ± 0.61 mg/g), and MG (1.45 ± 0.17 mg/g) were all significantly enhanced in groups given maca powder compared to the control group (p < 0.05). In summary, maca is effective in improving hypoxia tolerance and relieving fatigue, and MWP is the active substance.