Common purslane: a source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants

J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Aug;11(4):374-82. doi: 10.1080/07315724.1992.10718240.


omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene and glutathione determined in leaves of purslane (Portulaca oleracea), grown in both a controlled growth chamber and in the wild, were compared in composition to spinach. Leaves from both samples of purslane contained higher amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (18:3w3) than did leaves of spinach. Chamber-grown purslane contained the highest amount of 18:3w3. Samples from the two kinds of purslane contained higher leaves of alpha-tocopherol, ascorbic acid and glutathione than did spinach. Chamber-grown purslane was richer in all three and the amount of alpha-tocopherol was seven times higher than that found in spinach, whereas spinach was slightly higher in beta-carotene. One hundred grams of fresh purslane leaves (one serving) contain about 300-400 mg of 18:3w3; 12.2 mg of alpha-tocopherol; 26.6 mg of ascorbic acid; 1.9 mg of beta-carotene; and 14.8 mg of glutathione. We confirm that purslane is a nutritious food rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / analysis*
  • Glutathione / analysis
  • Linolenic Acids / analysis
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Vitamin E / analysis
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • beta Carotene


  • Antioxidants
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Linolenic Acids
  • beta Carotene
  • alpha-Linolenic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid