The Phytochemical Composition, Mineral Contents and Amino Acid Profile of Phyllanthus amarus leaves
Phytomedicine, Toxicology and Reproductive Biochemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Ilorin. Nigeria
Leaves of Phyllanthus amarus was analyzed for phytochemical, mineral and amino acid constituents using standard methods. The data obtained indicated that aqueous extract of P. amarus leaves contained alkaloids (28.5 mg/L), flavonoids (13.6 mg/L), saponins (11.2 mg/L), steroids (8.4 mg/L), anthraquinones (3.8 mg/L), tannins (2.7 mg/L), and terpenes (2.3 mg/L). Anti-nutrients found in the plants are phytate (8.74 mg/ L), phytin phosphorus (2.74 mg/ L), oxalate (2.52 mg/ L), cyanide (0.84 mg/ L) and polyphenol (0.57 mg/ L). Mineral analysis of the leaves revealed the presence of Calcium (352.13 mg/100 g) > Potassium (239.29 mg/100 g) > Sodium (171.48 mg/100 g) > Magnesium (47.61 mg/100 g) > Iron (36.17 mg/100 g) > Phosphorus (34.29 mg/100 g) > Manganese (19.18 mg/100 g) > Zinc (12.47 mg/100 g) > Chromium (8.19 mg/100 g) > Copper (6.53 mg/100 g). Lead and Cadmium which are toxic elements to humans and animals were not detected. A total of 17 amino acids were detected in P. amarus leaves including glutamine which was the highest (10.60 g/ 100 g) and Methionine was the most limiting (1.32 g/ 100 g). Since the leaves contain various secondary metabolites in varying concentrations, the synergetic effects of these constituents could make the leaves a potential source of drug.