The Methyltetrahydro-β-Carbolines in Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca, a plant native to the Peruvian highlands, contains (1R,3S)-1-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline-3-carboxylic acid (MTCA). The family of the tetrahydro-β-carbolines has been associated with both biologically helpful and harmful compounds. We present evidence that MTCA is a natural constituent of Maca, and on consumption no toxicity is found. This suggests that, when consumed as multi-component, MTCA may loose its adversity as drug action.