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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Reilly, Paul [1], O'Quinn, Robin [2].

Assessing the mineral nutrition of Claytonia lanceolata corms from multiple populations across the Columbia Plateau region of North America.

Since divergence from our ancestral lineage until the advent of agriculture, humans relied on foraged foods for their mineral nutrition. The shift towards an agricultural lifestyle altered the human diet profoundly, and research suggests our genomes have not yet adapted. This discord has resulted in unprecedented levels of disease, which some hypothesize can be mitigated through increased micronutrient consumption.
As a class, wild foods appear to be more nutrient dense than most modern foods, which has led to the suggestion that inclusion of foraged foods to the diet could improve overall health. Information about the micronutrient content of foraged foods is useful for people interested in including wild foods into their diet, yet most nutritional testing is incomplete. Despite being a historic food source to indigenous people across its distribution range, micronutrient data for the corms of Western Spring Beauty (Claytonia lanceolata) are lacking. Due to the prevalence of historic use and the heterogeneity of the environments it inhabits, we hypothesized that corms of C. lanceolata would provide a valuable, but variable source of mineral nutrition. To test these hypotheses, 12 populations across the Columbia Plateau Region of North America were sampled during their active growth phase. Corms were collected and assigned to one of several replicate groups from each population, and then analyzed using standard ICP-OES methods for Ca, Mg, K, Na, P, Cu, Fe, Mn, Cr, Ni, Zn, Cd, As, Pb, Ba, and Al.
After analysis, all samples were averaged for nutritional reporting, and the means of individual populations were compared using a Kruskal-Wallace test. Across all populations, average mineral content of corms compared favorably to contemporary foods, likely providing between 10-25% of the dietary reference intake (DRI) of Mg, P, Cu, and Zn, and over 100% of Fe and Mn. However, the mean mineral content of populations differed significantly for each tested element.
Our data suggest that C. lanceolata corms are a viable source of mineral nutrition, and consumption may limit the risk of some common mineral deficiencies (Mg, P, Zn, and Fe). Moreover, the difference in average mineral content by population suggests that nutritional reports based on a single population sample could misrepresent the actual nutritional quality of foraged food plants. In conclusion, C. lanceolata corms could be included in risk management strategies which increase wild food consumption, yet corms from different areas provide variable mineral nutrition.

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1 - Eastern Washington University, Biology, 526 5th Street, Cheney, WA, 99004, USA
2 - Eastern Washington University, Biology, 526 W 5th St , Cheney, WA, 99004, USA

mineral nutrition.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Salon 2/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 9:30 AM
Number: 4007
Abstract ID:1250
Candidate for Awards:Economic Botany Section best student paper

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