Macroalgae play an important role in the ecology of the marine environment. They form the base of the food webs, and represent the major food source for a variety of organisms. In order to assess their potential nutritional value, the antioxidant and trace element content (vitamin C, total polyphenols, zinc, iron, cooper, selenium, cadmium and lead) of eight macroalgae species, three red (Hypnea spinella, Gracilaria textorii and G. vermicullophyla), four green (Caulerpa sertularioides, Codium simulans, C. amplivesiculatum and Ulva lactuca) and one brown (Dictyota flabellata) macroalgae, were determined. The concentration ranges found were as follows: zinc, 19.1-7.4; iron, 638.4-89.2; copper, 3.9-0.9; selenium, 0.32-10; cadmium, 4.33-0.02, and lead 8.8-0.39 mg kg-1 dry weight. Green macroalgae showed higher concentrations of iron and zinc. Total polyphenol content ranged from 29.6 to 70.3 mg 100 g-1 dry weight; brown macroalgae showed higher polyphenol concentration. C. simulans and C. amplivesiculatum had higher vitamin C content (3.16 ± 0.52 mg g-1 and 6.08 ± 0.69 mg g-1 dry weight, respectively) than the other species. Comparison with several commonly consumed vegetables and fruits suggest that these macroalgae are likely a good alternative source of antioxidants and micronutrients for consumers.
Citation: Zenteno-Savín T, Tenorio-Rodríguez PA, Méndez-Rodríguez LC, Serviere-Zaragoza E, O´Hara T (2013) Antioxidant Substances and Trace Element Content in Macroalgae from a Subtropical Lagoon in the West Coast of the BajaCalifornia Peninsula. Vitam Trace Elem 2:108.