Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacities and fatty acids profile of 18 alpine plants available as forage for yaks on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Guangxin Cui, A. Allan Degen, Xiaoxing Wei, Jianwei Zhou, Luming Ding, Zhanhuan Shang, Xiaohong Wei, Ruijun Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditionally, yaks (Poephagus grunniens) raised on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau graze only natural pasture and much of their diet consists of sedges, in particular Kobresia spp. These ruminants are subjected to an extremely harsh environment of strong UV radiation, hypoxia and severe cold, which can lead to high oxidative stress. Consequently, it was predicted that sedges would contain high concentrations of functional antioxidants when compared with other alpine plants, and that this would help them survive the harsh conditions. To test the prediction, 18 alpine plants on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, which are available to yaks as forage, were examined. These plants, including four sedges, five grasses, five forbs and four shrubs, were analysed for gross constituents, Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, phenol content, and fatty acids composition. Based on their Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity, the 18 plants were divided into three groups: low, medium and high. Three of the four sedges were ranked in the medium group and one in the low group, whereas three of four shrubs were ranked in the high group. The total phenol content of the plants ranged between 1.1 and 12.4 g gallic acid equivalents per 100 g DM, with the shrubs containing the highest concentrations. The prediction that sedges would contain higher antioxidant capacity than other alpine plants was not supported. It was concluded that other factors such as anti-nutritional contents and biomass availability are also important in determining dietary selection in yaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalRangeland Journal
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • altitude
  • extreme environment phenols
  • oxidative stress
  • tannins

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