Buckwheat sprouts contain antioxidants and trace minerals. Rutin, a flavonoid, is not found in cereals except for buckwheat, which is a good source of rutin. Rutin is an antioxidant that reduces capillary fragility, high blood pressure (hypertension), edema and arteriosclerosis. Trace elements act as cofactors for antioxidant enzymes superoxide dysmutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase.
Buckwheat sprouts were grown in either trace element water (TEW) or in deionized water (DIW) to see if trace elements would alter the sprouts by increasing their antioxidant activity. The antioxidant activity of the sprouts was evaluated by extensive laboratory testing of antioxidant functions in the plants.
At 300 ppm (parts per million), TEW significantly increased copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn) and iron (Fe) content of the sprouts. The selenium (Se) content of the sprouts was not increased by the TEW. The levels of rutin, isorientin, vitexin and isovitexin (flavonoids) did not vary between the TEW and the DIW grown sprouts. TEW at doses higher than 300 ppm inhibited the antioxidant activity.
An alcohol extract of TEW 300 ppm grown sprouts showed greater antioxidant activity. The extract showed increased intracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lower superoxide anion levels. TEW sprouts, at more than 300 ppm concentration, showed inhibition of antioxidant activity. Of potentially harmful trace elements, only chromium (Cr) showed an increase in the TEW grown sprouts compared to the DIW grown sprouts.
CONCLUSION: Buckwheat sprouts grown in trace element water show increased antioxidant activity. Rutin levels were not changed.
NOTE: Cereals are grasses that produce an edible seed. It should be noted that mild increase in chromium activity of TEW sprouts could be beneficial in patients with type 2 diabetes.