The quelites have an important nutritional contribution: they are rich in micronutrients, fiber, minerals, and vitamins; They are economical and, in addition, have potential in the treatment against gastritis, revealed a study by UNAM.
The quelite, a powerful remedy against gastritis, says a study
Scientists led by Irma Romero Álvarez, from the Department of Biochemistry of the Faculty of Medicine, discovered in the laboratory that this traditional Mexican plant affects the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and some of the diseases related to it, especially gastritis.
Through a communiqué from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), he said that in Mexico there are about 500 types of quelites. They are eaten raw or lightly cooked in different regions of the country.
La Chaya, a kind of quelite
He explained that after studying three species: alache, from the State of Mexico; Chepil, from the region of Oaxaca; and chaya, from the Yucatan Peninsula, its effect on the growth and colonization of H. pylori, its adherence to gastric epithelial cells and its effect on urease, an enzyme that neutralizes the bacteria, was determined.
Better than the antiparasitic
In the Faculty of Chemistry, the university explained that "all species of quelites (a word derived from Nahuatl and means" edible tender grass ") inhibit the bacteria, even better than metronidazole (antibiotic and antiparasitic).
In the multidisciplinary and inter-institutional project, which was undertaken a few years ago to study medicinal plants in Mexico, and which continues today in Romero's laboratory, it was decided to analyze the three species.
"We wanted to determine if, in addition to its nutritional value, quelites could have some property in the control of diseases, to give it an added value and favor its consumption".
A bacterium that affects the population
Similarly, H. Pylori, he recalled, is a bacterium that colonizes the gastric mucosa of humans; It is associated with different pathologies, the main one is gastritis, and if it remains, other conditions may be present, such as peptic ulcer and, in a lesser percentage, gastric cancer.
It is considered one of the most successful bacteria on the planet, it is estimated that half of the world's population is infected, although the percentage varies according to the region, age and socioeconomic status.
In addition, in Mexico, gastritis is one of the first 10 causes of the first consultation in family medicine or emergency services, and gastric cancer and peptic ulcers are among the first 20 causes of mortality.