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Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare www.iiste.

org
ISSN 2224-32! "#a$er% ISSN 222&-'3( ")nline%
*ol.4, No.+,, 2+4

+3
Comparative Studies on Some Anti-Nutritional Factors in Seeds
of Mucuna Pruriens (Velvet Beans) and Sphenostylis Stenocarpa
(African Yam Beans)

A-ira, #. )laniyi. /ara-ola, A. Success and )yelade 0. A1i-1ola
/e$art-ent of Science 2echnology 3ederal #olytechnic, Ado-45iti, 45iti State, Nigeria
4--ail6 $hili$a-ira7yahoo.co-

Abstract
2he concentrations of so-e anti-nutritional factors $resent in seeds of Mucuna pruriens "8el8et 1eans% and those
of Sphenostylis stenocarpa "african ya- 1eans% were deter-ined. 2he seeds of Mucuna pruriens were found to
contain Sa$onin6 .3-g9+g, #hytate6 !.33-g9+g, ):alate6 2!.;'-g9+g, <yanogenic glucoside6
'.!-g9+g, 2annin6.2,-g9+g while the seed of Sphenostylis stenocarpa were found to contain Sa$onin6
.+;-g9+g, #hytate6 ,.,3-g9+g, ):alate6 +,.33-g9+g, <yanogenic glucoside6 +;.!-g9+g and 2annin6
+.22-g9+g. <onse=uently, Mucuna pruriens seeds ha8e lower concentration of <yanogenic glucoside
"'.!-g9+g% than Sphenostylis stenocarpa "+;.!-g9+g% and this -ay -a5e the seeds of Mucuna pruriens
"8el8et 1eans% -ore fit for consu-$tion 1ecause cyanogenic glucoside a$$ears to 1e the -ost to:ic of all the
anti-nutrients studied.
Keyords6 S$henostylis stenocar$a, >ucuna $ruriens, Sa$onin, ):alate, #hytate, <yanogenic glucoside,
2annin.

!ntroduction
Mucuna pruriens is a tro$ical legu-e 5nown as 8el8et 1eans or cowitch. 2he $lant is an annual,
cli-1ing shru1 with long 8ines that can reach o8er +&- in length. 0hen the $lant is young, it is al-ost
co-$letely co8ered with fu??y hairs, 1ut when older, it is al-ost co-$letely free of hairs. 2he lea8es are
tri$innate, o8ate, re8erse o8ate, rho-1us sha$ed or widely o8ate. 2he sides of the lea8es are often hea8ily
groo8ed and the ti$s $ointy. In young Mucuna pruriens $lants, 1oth sides of the lea8es ha8e hairs. 2he ste$s of
the leaflets are two to three -illi-eters long. Additional ad@acent lea8es are $resent and a1out &-- long "Aerra
et al, 2&%.
In the fruit ri$ening stage, a 4 to +3c- long, a + to 2 c- wide, unwinged legu-inous fruit de8elo$s.
2here is a ridge along the length of the fruit. 2he hus5 is 8ery hairy and carries u$ to se8en seeds. 2he seeds are
flattened unifor- elli$soid, + to +.'c- long, .! to +.3c- wide and 4 to ,.&c- thic5. Mucuna pruriens $lants
ha8e white, la8enders, or $ur$le flowers. Its seed $ods are a1out +c- long and co8ered in loose orange hairs
that cause a se8ere itch if they co-e in contact with s5in. 2he che-ical co-$ounds res$onsi1le for the itch are a
$rotein, -ucunain and serotonin. It is found in tro$ical Africa, India and the <arri1ean "Aerra et al, 2&%.
In -any $arts of the world Mucuna pruriens is used as an i-$ortant forage, fallow and green -anure
cro$. Since the $lant is in the legu-e fa-ily "$ear and 1eans%, it with the hel$ of nitrogen-fi:ing 1acteria, ta5e
nitrogen gas fro- the air and co-1ines it with other che-ical co-$ounds $roducing fertili?er and i-$ro8ing the
soil. Mucuna pruriens is a wide s$read fodder $lant in the tro$ics and to that end, whole $lant is fed to ani-als
as silage, dried hay or dried seeds. Mucuna pruriens silage contains ++-2&B crude $rotein, 3&-4B crude fi1re
and the dried 1eans 2-3&B crude $rotein "Cat?enschlager et al, 24%.
In history, Mucuna pruriens ha8e 1een used as an effecti8e a$hrodisiac. It is still used to increase
li1ido in 1oth -en and wo-en due to its do$a-ine inducing $ro$erties. /o$a-ine has a $rofound influence in
se:ual function. A ty$ical dose for a -an is +&g of ground seeds -i:ed with cowDs -il5 "Aerra et al, 2&%.
Mucuna pruriens has also recently 1eco-e $o$ular a-ong lucid drea-ing enthusiasts. 0hen co-1ined with
other su$$le-ents that sti-ulate the cholinergic syste-, the do$a-ine $resu-a1ly $roduced fro- the
consu-$tion of Mucuna pruriens confers u$on the lucid drea-er greater -oti8ation and confidence ">anya- et
al, 24%. Mucuna pruriens is one of the -ost i-$ortant sources of E-do$a, a co--on co-$onent of nootro$ics
"Fs-art drugsG%, it also contain serotonin &-H2#, nicotine and so-e decidedly $sychoacti8e co-$ound
"Ha-achandran, 2,%. Mucuna pruriens $ods hairs are a co--on ingredient in itching $owder.
Mucuna pruriens 1eans ha8e 1een wining its $o$ularity o8er the last few years in the natural $roducts
-ar5et -ainly 1ecause of the s$ort industry, though it has $lenty of health 1enefits. As Mucuna pruriens seed is
$ro8ed to increase testosterone and sti-ulate growth hor-one, it -a5es it rather desira1le for -en in s$ort as it
increases -uscle -ass. *arious $roducts "as $owders, tinctures, e:tracts and decoctions% hel$ to gain weight
loss, i-$ro8e -e-ory, increase li1ido and for 8isual enhance-ent. 2he seeds of 8el8et 1ean are high in $rotein
"2-2'B%, li$ids ",-;B%, dietary fi1er "!-+B%, ash "3B%, car1ohydrates "&-,B% and -inerals "Ade1owale and
Eawal, 23%.
Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare www.iiste.org
ISSN 2224-32! "#a$er% ISSN 222&-'3( ")nline%
*ol.4, No.+,, 2+4

+4
According to studies on -en, oral inta5e of the seeds of Mucuna pruriens $ro-otes fertility and s$er-
$roduction and also i-$ro8es erection, duration of coitus, and $ost-coital satisfaction after only four wee5s of
treat-ent. 3or years it has 1een used in fol5 -edicine for treating diarrhea, i-$otence, intestinal gas, wor-s,
rheu-atic disorders, tu1erculosis, cough, sterility, -uscular $ain, -enstrual disorders, dia1etes and e8en
sna5e1ites. All these issues ha8e 1een $ro8en 1y ani-al studies "Iuiliano and Allard, 2+%.
Sphenostylis stenocarpa "african ya- 1eans% li5e other legu-es, is grown 1oth for its edi1le seeds and
tu1ers. It is a 8igorous 8ine, which twines and cli-1s to a height of a1out 3- and re=uires sta5ing. It flowers
$rofusely in + to +& days, $roducing a 1right colour flowers which -ay 1e $in5, $ur$le or greenish white.
2he slightly woody $ods contain 2 to 3seeds and -ature within +; days. 2he $lant $roduces underground
tu1ers that are used as food in so-e $arts of African countries that ser8e as agent of $erennation in the wilds
"/u5e et al, +';;%.
A -a@or factor li-iting the wider food use of -any tro$ical $lants "including legu-es% or also -a5ing
the $rocessing lengthen 1efore fit for eating is the u1i=uitous occurrence in the- of a di8erse range of natural
co-$ounds ca$a1le of $reci$itating deleterious effects in -an and ani-als. >anifestation of to:icity range fro-
source reduction in food inta5e and nutrients utili?ation to $rofound neurological effects and death. <o-$ound,
which act to reduce nutrient and9or food inta5e are often referred to as anti-nutritional factors ")sagie, +''!%.
2he -edical i-$lication of $lants ha8e 1een highly researched and it has 1een $ro8en to result fro-
acti8e $rinci$les such as sa$onins, glycosides, o:alases, acid $henols, to:ins, a-ino acids etc. 2hese agents
ha8e 1een i-$licated to ha8e anti-icro1ial acti8ities "Sofowora, +'!;. Asa5awa, +''%.
Although to:ic co-$ounds are widely distri1uted in the $lant 5ingdo-, it is generally considered that
tro$ical legu-es contain a -ore co-$le: array of these su1stances followed 1y cassa8a than other cro$ s$ecies.
2he $resence of these anti-nutritional factors constitute a -a@or set1ac5, li-iting the nutritional and food
=ualities of $lant 1ecause they are 5nown to e:ert a deleterious effect when ingested 1y -an or ani-al without
ade=uate $rocessing ")gun et al, +'!'%.
Sa$onins are steroid or ter$enoid glycoside often referred to as Jnatural detergentsD. 2here are a grou$
that are now classified as su1grou$ of the glycosides and are characteri?ed 1y their 1itter and astringent taste,
foa-ing $ro$erties and their he-olytic effect on the red 1lood cells. 2hey are widely distri1uted in the $lant
5ingdo- 1eing found in o8er fi8e hundred genera ">ahato and Nand, +''+%. Sa$onin ha8e 1een shown to
$ossess 1oth 1eneficial "cholesterol lowering, inhi1ition of cancer cells, energy 1ooster, anti1iotic% and
deleterious $ro$erties ")a5enful and Sidhu, +'!'%.
):alate, a <
2
dicar1o:ylic acid anion is $roduced and accu-ulated in -any cro$ $lants and $asture
weeds. ):alate -ay 1e $resent in $lants as the solu1le salts, $otassiu-, sodiu- or a--oniu- o:alic acid or as
insolu1le calciu- o:alate. 2hey $ossess inhi1itory effect on digestion. ):alate affect calciu- and -agnesiu-
-eta1olis- ")5e, +',!% and react with $roteins to for- co-$le:es, thus $resenting an inhi1itory action on
$e$tic digestion ")1oh and 2enic, +'!,%.
#hytic acid "$hytate%, a he:a$hos$hate deri8ati8e of inositol is an i-$ortant storage for- of
$hos$horous in $lants. It is insolu1le and cannot 1e a1sor1ed in the hu-an intestine. #hytic acid has +2
re$lacea1le hydrogen ato-s with which it could for- solu1le salts with -etals such as calciu-, iron, ?inc and
-agnesiu-. #hytate can also inhi1it digesti1ility 1y chelating with calciu- 1inding with su1strate or $roteolytic
en?y-e ")sagie, +''!%.
Ilycosides are a grou$ of co-$ound so-eti-es referred to as glucoside when the 1asic organic
co-$onent is glucose. Ilycosides 8ary considera1ly in their che-ical co-$osition 1ut ha8e in co--on the
$roduction of a sugar and other su1strate 5nown as genin or a glycone on en?y-e or acid hydrolysis. So-e
glycosides following en?y-e hydrolysis, $roduce hydrocyanic acid and are 5nown as cyanogenic glycosides.
<yanogenic glycosides are a grou$ of -glycosides for-ed fro- decar1o:ylated a-ino acids "the grou$ arises
fro- -car1on ato- and the a-ino grou$%.
Any $lant $henolic su1stance with a -olecular weight greater than a1out & can 1e considered to 1e a
tannin. 2he two distincti8e grou$s are the hydrolysa1le tannin so called 1ecause they -ay 1e readily hydrolysed
into a -i:ture of car1ohydrate and $henols and condensed tannins which are co-$le: fla8onoid $oly-ers.
2annins -ay decrease $rotein =uantity 1y decreasing digesti1ility and $alata1ility. )ther nutritional effects
which ha8e 1een attri1uted to tannin include da-age to intestinal tract, to:icity of tannin a1sor1ed fro- the gut
and interference with the a1sor$tion of iron, a $ossi1le carcinogenic effect ")sagie and 45a, +''!%. 2annin
co-$ounds accu-ulate in considera1le a-ount in tissue such as 1ar5s, roots, wood, lea8es and fruits and $re8ent
effecti8e utili?ation of forages 1y 1inding to dietary $rotein, there1y causing digesti8e $ro1le-s for gra?ing
ani-als.
In this study, results are $resented to show the desira1ility or otherwise of the fitness of seeds of
Mucuna pruriens "8el8et 1eans% for hu-an and ani-al consu-$tion when co-$ared with seeds of Sphenostylis
stenocarpa "african ya- 1eans% on the 1asis of the concentrations of so-e anti-nutritional factors $resent in the-.

Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare
ISSN 2224-32! "#a$er% ISSN 222&-'3( ")nline%
*ol.4, No.+,, 2+4

"aterials and "et#ods
/ry seeds of Mucuna pruriens
Ado-45iti and the identity authenticated at the soil and cro$s unit of the
3ederal #olytechnic, Ado-45iti, 45i5ti State, Nigeria. /ry seeds of
were $urchased fro- 4rinfun >ar5et, Ado
/e$art-ent of Agricultural 2echnology, 3ederal #olytechnic, Ado
Sa$onin content of the sa-$les was deter-ined using filtration and crystalli?ation -ethods "Harringer,
+''4%. /eter-ination of o:alate content was acco-$l
$hytate contents of the sa-$les o1tained were deter-ined using filtration and titration -ethod "A)A<, +'!4%.
2he concentration of cyanogenic glucoside in the 1ean sa-$les was deter-ined 1y distil
titration "0ang and 3illed, +''2%. 2annin concentration was deter-ined using colori-etric -ethod "A)A<,
+'!4%.

$esults
2a1le + shows the concentration of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin as deter-ined fo
seeds of Mucuna pruriens "8el8et 1ean% and
Table 1% <oncentrations of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin of seeds
of Mucuna pruriens "8el8et 1eans% and
Sa-$le Sa$onin

Mucuna pruriens
Sphenostylis stenocarpa
3
.+;

*alues are >eanKS./. o1tained in tri$licates.


3ig. +6 <oncentration of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin in seeds of
and Sphenostylis stenocarpa.

&iscussion
3ro- the results $resented, the concentration of sa$onin in
than those in Sphenostylis stenocarpa
cholesterol lowering, inhi1ition of cancer cells and energy 1oosting ")a5enful and Sidhu, +'!'%.
2he concentration of o:alate in
are
'3( ")nline%
+&
Mucuna pruriens "8el8et 1eans% were o1tained fro- the co-$ound of 3ederal #olytechnic,
45iti and the identity authenticated at the soil and cro$s unit of the /e$art-ent of Agricultural 2echnology,
45iti, 45i5ti State, Nigeria. /ry seeds of Sphenostylis stenocarpa
were $urchased fro- 4rinfun >ar5et, Ado-45iti and the identity authenticated at the soil and cro$s unit
/e$art-ent of Agricultural 2echnology, 3ederal #olytechnic, Ado-45iti, 45iti State, Nigeria.
Sa$onin content of the sa-$les was deter-ined using filtration and crystalli?ation -ethods "Harringer,
+''4%. /eter-ination of o:alate content was acco-$lished using 1oth filtration and titration -ethods while the
$hytate contents of the sa-$les o1tained were deter-ined using filtration and titration -ethod "A)A<, +'!4%.
2he concentration of cyanogenic glucoside in the 1ean sa-$les was deter-ined 1y distillation, condensation and
titration "0ang and 3illed, +''2%. 2annin concentration was deter-ined using colori-etric -ethod "A)A<,
2a1le + shows the concentration of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin as deter-ined fo
"8el8et 1ean% and Sphenostylis stenocarpa "african ya- 1ean%.
<oncentrations of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin of seeds
"8el8et 1eans% and Sphenostylis stenocarpa "african ya- 1ean%.
Sa$onin ):alate #hytate <yanogenic
glucoside
<oncentration in -g9+g
3.+
.+;.+
2!.;'.2
+,.33.+
!.33.+
,.,3.&
'.!
+;.!
S./. o1tained in tri$licates.
3ig. +6 <oncentration of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin in seeds of
3ro- the results $resented, the concentration of sa$onin in Mucuna pruriens "8el8et 1eans% is higher
Sphenostylis stenocarpa "african ya- 1eans% and sa$onin ha8e 1een shown to 1e 1eneficial in
cholesterol lowering, inhi1ition of cancer cells and energy 1oosting ")a5enful and Sidhu, +'!'%.
ration of o:alate in Mucuna pruriens is higher than that in Sphenostylis stenocarpa
www.iiste.org
"8el8et 1eans% were o1tained fro- the co-$ound of 3ederal #olytechnic,
/e$art-ent of Agricultural 2echnology,
Sphenostylis stenocarpa "african ya- 1ean%
45iti and the identity authenticated at the soil and cro$s unit of the
45iti, 45iti State, Nigeria.
Sa$onin content of the sa-$les was deter-ined using filtration and crystalli?ation -ethods "Harringer,
ished using 1oth filtration and titration -ethods while the
$hytate contents of the sa-$les o1tained were deter-ined using filtration and titration -ethod "A)A<, +'!4%.
lation, condensation and
titration "0ang and 3illed, +''2%. 2annin concentration was deter-ined using colori-etric -ethod "A)A<,
2a1le + shows the concentration of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin as deter-ined for

<oncentrations of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin of seeds
a- 1ean%.
<yanogenic
glucoside
2annin

'.!.+
+;.!.+
.2,.+
+.22.2

3ig. +6 <oncentration of sa$onin, o:alate, $hytate, cyanogenic glucoside and tannin in seeds of Mucuna pruriens
"8el8et 1eans% is higher
"african ya- 1eans% and sa$onin ha8e 1een shown to 1e 1eneficial in
cholesterol lowering, inhi1ition of cancer cells and energy 1oosting ")a5enful and Sidhu, +'!'%.
Sphenostylis stenocarpa and
Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare www.iiste.org
ISSN 2224-32! "#a$er% ISSN 222&-'3( ")nline%
*ol.4, No.+,, 2+4

+,
o:alate affect calciu- and -agnesiu- -eta1olis- ")5e, +',!% and react with $roteins to for- co-$le:es, thus
$resenting an inhi1itory action on $e$tic digestion ")1oh and 2enic, +'!,%.
2he concentrations of $hytate in 1oth Mucuna pruriens seeds and Sphenostylis stenocarpa are a1out the
sa-e. #hytate can also inhi1it digesti1ility 1y chelating with calciu- 1inding with su1strate or $roteolytic
en?y-e ")sagie, +''!%.
2he concentration of cyanogenic glucoside in seeds of Sphenostylis stenocarpa is 8ery -uch higher
than that in seeds of Mucuna pruriens and this -ay -a5e the seeds of Mucuna pruriens -ore fit for consu-$tion
1ecause cyanogenic glucoside a$$ears to 1e the -ost to:ic of all the anti-nutrients studied.
2he concentration of tannin in seeds of Mucuna pruriens ".2,-g9+g% is -uch lower than that in
seeds of Sphenostylis stenocarpa "+.22-g9+g%. 2annin -ay decrease $rotein digesti1ility and $alata1ility.
)ther nutritional effects which ha8e 1een associated with tannin include da-age to intestinal tract, to:icity of
tannin a1sor1ed fro- the gut and interference with the a1sor$tion of iron and a $ossi1le carcinogenic effect
")sagie and 45a, +''!%.

Conclusion
2his study has esta1lished the $resence of anti-nutritional factors in seeds of 1oth the 8el8et 1eans
"Mucuna pruriens% and african ya- 1eans "Sphenostylis stenocarpa%. But fro- the results o1tained, seeds of
8el8et 1eans "Mucuna pruriens%, if $ro$erly $rocessed, -ay 1e fit for hu-an consu-$tion as well as those of
african ya- 1eans "Sphenostylis stenocarpa%. Howe8er 1ecause of lower cyanogenic glucoside and tannin le8els
in seeds of Mucuna pruriens and its nu-erous 1eneficial health effects, it -ay 1e reco--ended that -eals that
include seeds of Mucuna pruriens 1e ad8ocated in our diets.

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