Effect of Farm Additives on the Potential Bioavailability of Some Nutritional Elements from Kenyan Wild Plants


In this study, the effects of farm additives on eight wild plants from Nyamira County, Kenya were evaluated for their release of iron, copper, calcium, potassium and magnesium. A hundred and sixty traditional medicinal practitioners were surveyed and found to use Solanum indicum, Carissa edulis, Urtica dioica, Clerodendrum myricoides, Aloe vera, Plectranthus barbatus, Bidens pilosa and Solanum mauense. Atomic absorption spectrophotometer was used to determine the total nutritional element contents in the plants while ultra filtration and physiologically based extraction tests were used to determine the release and solubility of the nutritional elements. The plants from areas with high use of farm additives were found to have statistically significant high total levels of copper from the area with no or little application. Elemental analysis of the molecular species fractions into < 3 kDa, 3–10 kDa, 10 kDa–0.45 μm and 0.45–5 μm mass fractions showed that the mass distribution of the elements in the plants depended on the element. The nutritional elements released by gastrointestinal digestion were more than those released aquatically. Farm additives had no significant effect on the levels of most nutritional elements determined and the plants can be used as mineral element supplements in the human body in addition to their therapeutic activity.

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The authors acknowledge the assistance given by Mr. Ephantus Mwangi and Ms. Marion, the Nairobi University Chemistry Department Technicians in carrying out the analytical work.

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Correspondence to R. Mogwasi.

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Mogwasi, R., Kariuki, D.K. & Getenga, Z.M. Effect of Farm Additives on the Potential Bioavailability of Some Nutritional Elements from Kenyan Wild Plants. Biol Trace Elem Res 195, 658–668 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-019-01855-8

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  • Agricultural activities
  • Anaemia
  • Bioavailability
  • Fractionation
  • Nyamira