Main Article Content
The importance of sourcing products of natural origin in boosting immunity against infectious diseases during therapeutic interventions especially in developing countries has been underscored. The need therefore arose to investigate candidate sources within locally available flora based on identified ethno-practices in the region. The potentiality of Aframomum melegueta as a source of vitamins which are recognized immune boosters was investigated. Plant samples were collected from the wild near Akungba-Akoko, Ondo state, Nigeria and separated into Stem, Leaf sheath, Fruit pulp (mesocarp) and Seed parts. The samples were oven-dried, pulverized and extracted with methanol and filtered with Whatman No 1 filtered paper. The filtrates were concentrated in-vacuo using vacuum rotary evaporator at 40°C and was later concentrated to dryness in a ventilated oven at 40°C. Analyses of vitamin content of the samples were conducted using standard analytical methods. The plant displayed a rich array of Vitamins with the seeds having the highest concentration compared to the Stem, Leaf sheath, Fruit pulp (mesocarp) and Seed extracts. Values obtained for seed and stem extracts respectively were Vitamin C (16.8 mg/g, 5.85 mg/g), Vitamin B (1.15 mg/g, 0.41 mg/g), Vitamin B3 (0.98 mg/g, 0.30 mg/g), Vitamin E (0.75 mg/g, 0.11 mg/g), Vitamin B6 (0.03 mg/g, 0.006 mg/g), Vitamin B12 (4.22 mg/g, 0.50 mg/g), Vitamin A (1024.1 mg/g, 189.9 mg/g), Vitamin E (0.75 mg/g, 0.11 mg/g), Vitamin D (0.68 mg/g, 0.03 mg/g) and Vitamin K (0.017 mg/g,0.007 mg/g). Standard daily recommended intakes for each vitamin are vitamin C -75 mg, B2, 3, 6 and B12 ranges from 2 mg to 18 mg, A -600 µg, E -10 mg, D -5 µg, and vitamin K -80 µg. This study therefore elucidates the richness of Aframomum melegueta in essential vitamins and suggests its potential as an immune booster especially during the outbreaks of diseases. Direct consumption of the plant parts studied or as food supplement formula will be of benefit in the management of diseases.
Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag New York; 2007.
Ilic N, Schmidt BM, Poulev A, Raskin I. Toxicological evaluation of grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) [Roscoe] K. Schum. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2010;127(2):352-356.
Ajaiyeoba EO, Ekundayo O. Essential oil constituents of Aframomum melegueta (Roscoe) K. Schum. seeds (alligator pepper) from Nigeria. Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 1999;14(2):109-111.
Halawany El, AM, Dine El, RS, Sayed El, NS, Hattori M. Protective effect of Aframomum melegueta phenolics against CCl₄-induced rat hepatocytes damage: Role of apoptosis and pro-inflammatory cytokines inhibition. Scientific Reports. 2014;4:5880.
Mohammed A, Gbonjubola VA, Koorbanally NA, Islam MS. Inhibition of key enzymes linked to type 2 diabetes by compounds isolated from Aframomum melegueta fruit. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2017;55(1):1010-1016.
Maggini S, Wintergerst ES, Beveridge S, Hornig DH. Selected vitamins and trace elements support immune function by strengthening epithelial barriers and cellular and humoral immune responses. British Journal of Nutrition. 2007;98:S29-S35.
Mora JR, von Andrian UH. T-cell homing specificity and plasticity: New concepts and future challenges. Trends in Immunology. 2006;27:235-243.
Comerford KB. Recently developments in multivitamin/mineral research. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal. 2013;4:644-656.
Villamor E, Fawzi WW. Effects of vitamin A supplementation on immune responses and correlation with clinical outcomes. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2005;18(3): 446–464.
Fawzi WW, Msamanga GI, Kupka R, Spiegelman D, Villamor E, Mugusi F. Multivitamin supplementation improves hematologic status in HIV-infected women and their children in Tanzania. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;85(5): 1335–43.
Kawarau A, Takeda E, Tanida N, Nakagawa K, Yamamoto H, Sawada K, Okano T. Inhibitory effect of long term 1-alpha-hydroxyvitamin D3 administration on Helicobacter pylori infection. J. Clin. Biochem. Nutr. 2006;38:103–1.
Lin R, White JH. The pleiotropic actions of vitamin D. Bio Essays. 2004;26:21–28.
Hellmann H, Mooney S. Vitamin B6: A molecule for human health? Molecules. 2010;15:442-459.
Huskisson E, Maggini S, Ruf M. The influence of micronutrients on cognitive function and performance. Journal of International Medical Research. 2007;35:1-19.
Vermeulen EG, Stehouwer CDA, Valk J, Knaap MVD, Berg VDM. Effect of homocysteine-lowering treatment with folic acid plus vitamin B6 on progression of subclinical atherosclerosis: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The Lancet. 2000;355:517-522.
Kunisawa J, Kiyono H. Vitamin-mediated regulation of intestinal immunity. Frontiers in Immunology. 2013;4:189.
Stover PJ. Physiology of folate and vitamin B12 in health and disease. Nutrition reviews. 2004;62:S3-S12.
Osuntokun OT, Yusuf-Babatunde MA, Fasila OO. Components and bioactivity of Ipomoea batatas (L.) (sweet potato) ethanolic leaf extract. Asian Journal of Advanced Research and Reports. 2020;10(1):10-26.
Article no. AJARR.56421ISSN:2582-3248.
Niki E, Traber MG. A history of vitamin E. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2012;61:207-212.
Pearson DL. Un estudio de las aves de Tumi Chucua, Departamento Beni, Bolivia. Pumapunku, La Paz. 1975;8:50-56.
Duyff R. American Dietetic Association: Complete food and nutrition guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2012.
Okwu DE, Josiah C. Evaluation of the chemical composition of two Nigerian Medicinal plants. Afr. J. Biotech. 2006;5(4): 357-361.
Kadir AAN. Spectrophotometric determina-tion of vitamin B6 by coupling with diazotized p-nitroaniline. J. Raf. Sci. 2010;21(4):49-59.
Tanumihardjo SA. Factors influencing the conversion of carotenoids to retinol: Bioavailability to bioconversion to bioefficacy. International Journal for vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2002;72: 40-45.
Chew BP, Park JS. Carotenoid action on the immune response. Journal of Nutrition. 2004;134:257S-261S.
Hinds TS, West WL, Knight EM. Carotenoids and retinoids: A review of research, clinical and public health applications. The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1997;37:551-558.
Solomons NW. Vitamin A and carotenoids. In: Bowman BA, Russell RM, Eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 8th ed. Washington D.C., ILSI Press. 2001;127–45.
Kupka R, Msamanga GI, Spiegelman D, Morris S, Mugusi F, Hunter DJ, Fawzi WW. Selenium status is associated with accelerated HIV disease progression among HIV-1-infected pregnant women in Tanzania. Journal of Nutrition. 2004; 134(10):2556–60.
Ross AC. Vitamins and retinols. In: Shils M, Ed. Nutrition in health and disease. 9th Ed. Baltimore, Williams and Wilkins. 1999;305–27.
Cheng JB, Levine MA, BellN H, Mangelsdorf DJ, Russell DW. Genetic evidence that the human CYP2R1 enzyme is a key vitamin D 25-hydroxylase. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2004;101:7711–7715.
Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N. Engl. J. Med. 2007;357:266–281.
Jones G, Strugnell SA, De Luca HF. Current understanding of the molecular actions of vitamin D. Physiological Rev. 1998;78:1193–1231.
Prosser DE, Jones G. Enzymes involved in the activation and inactivation of vitamin D. Trends Biochem. Sci. 2004;29:664–673.
Shinkyo R, Sakaki T, Kamakura M, Ohta M, Inouye K. Metabolism of vitamin D by human microsomal CYP2R1. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2004;324:451–457.
Shabbir F. Effect of diet on serotonergic neurotransmission in depression. Neurochemistry International. 2013;62: 324-329.
Vellema P. The effect of cobalt supplementation on the immune response in vitamin B12 deficient Texel lambs. Veterinary Immunology & Immunopathology. 1996;55:151-161.
Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH. Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2006;50:85-94.
Hume R, Weyers E. Changes in leucocyte ascorbic & during the common cold. Scottish Medical Journal. 1973;18:3-7.
Kraemer K. Introduction: The diverse and essential biological functions of vitamins. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61:185–191.
Mora JR, Iwata M, Andrian UH. Vitamin effects on the immune system: Vitamins A and D take centre stage. Nature Reviews Immunology. 2008;8:685-698.
Aranow C. Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of Investigative Medicine. 2011;59:881-886.
Sadarangani SP, Whitaker JA, Poland GA. Let there be light: The role of vitamin D in the immune response to vaccines. Expert Review of Vaccines. 2015;14:1427-1440.
Zhang Y, Donald YM, Richers BN, Liu Y, Remigio LK. Vitamin D inhibits monocyte/ macrophage proinflammatory cytokine production by targeting MAPK phosphatase-1. The Journal of Immunology. 2012;188:2127-2135.
Osuntokun OT, Olumekun VO, Ajayi AO, OmotuyiI O, Olonisakin A. Assessment of in-vitro antioxidant/enzymes inhibitory potentials of Aframomum melegueta [Roscoe] K. Schum (grains of paradise) leaf, stem bark, seed bark and seed extracts. Archives of Current Research International. 2020;20(2):40-57.
Lenntech (European Head Office) Recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Distributteweg 3, 2645 EG Delfgauw. The Netherlands; 2020.
(Accessed on 20th May, 2020)
Osuntokun OT. Aframomum melegueta (Grains of Paradise). Annals of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2020;3(1):1-6.