Anti-nutritional Composition, Heavy Metal Content and Mineral Bioavailability of Red Tree Vine (Leea guineensis G. Don) Fruits

  • Musbau Bayonle Olaniyii Biomedicinal Research Centre, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria
  • Samsideen Olabiyi Rufai Department of BioMedicinal Research Centre, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria


Leea guineensis G. Don is an evergreen shrub that has been reported to be important in Nigeria due to its medicinal and nutritional uses. However, there is paucity of documented information on the anti-nutritional composition, heavy metal content and mineral bioavailability of L. guineensis whole fruits. Hence, this study investigated the essential minerals, heavy metals and anti-nutritional compositions of L. guineensis whole fruits with a view to assess the quantity, bioavailability of the mineral elements and ultimately the safety of the fruits using standard analytical procedures. The results of phytochemical screening confirmed presence of secondary metabolites in varying quantities. The anti-nutrient contents (mg/100g) were phytates (29530); oxalates (510); saponins (10333); alkaloids (30533) and tannins (53.3). The results of mineral analysis revealed that L. guineensis fruits were rich in essential minerals (mg/100g) like, potassium (493); calcium (200); magnesium (103.3); phosphorus (9.9); zinc (8.5); manganese (5.5) and iron (5.0). The heavy metals concentrations were in the order lead>chromium>nickel>cobalt>cadmium. The values obtained were within the WHO permissible limits for heavy metals in medicinal plants. Meanwhile, the results of molar ratio phytates: Ca (8.97); oxalates: Ca (0.7978) and Ca.phytates:Zn (0.64) were below the suggested critical values indicating the bioavailability of calcium to be high. While phytates: Fe (501.06) and phytates: Zn (348.22) were higher than the critical values indicating poor bioavailability of Fe and Zn. The study therefore suggests that L. guineensis fruits are a good source of phyto-minerals which can be harnessed for nutritional purpose. Also, the anti-nutrient contents in L. guineensis whole fruits should be reduced to a safe level through processing methods (soaking, de-pulping or fermentation) in order to achieve its optimum nutritional or medicinal use.

Keywords: Anti-nutrients, Bioavailability, Heavy metal, Mineral composition, Leea guineensis, wild fruits


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How to Cite
M. Olaniyii and S. Rufai, “Anti-nutritional Composition, Heavy Metal Content and Mineral Bioavailability of Red Tree Vine (Leea guineensis G. Don) Fruits”, Int. Ann. Sci., vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 70-79, Dec. 2019.
Research Article