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  • The Phytochemical Evolution
    Phytochemicals, by the strictest definition, are chemicals that are produced by plants. Currently, the term is being used only for those plant chemicals that may have health-related effects but are not considered essential nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins).
    When plants first evolved, there was little free oxygen in the atmosphere. As oxygen levels increased, a direct result of plant metabolism (plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen), their environment became polluted. Over time, plants acquired new antioxidant compounds, which afforded them protection from molecules of highly reactive oxygen. These plants survived the oxygen pollution and slowly evolved into today's oxygen tolerant plants. Biochemical defenses against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and damage to cell structures, especially DNA, also became part of the plant world's arsenal.
    As animals species evolved, many were able to "borrow" some of the protective phytochemicals from the plants composing their diets, saving these species the trouble of having to manufacture all their own chemical defense mechanisms. This, of course, happened to the human animal as well.
    http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/phytochemicals/index.html
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  • The Phytochemical Revolution
    Since the 1970s, increasing numbers of studies are finding associations between the food people eat, their health, and their life expectancy. In the '70s, concerns focused on the role of dietary cholesterol in causing heart disease and cancer. Although the importance of cholesterol in the human diet turned out to be relatively unimportant (high blood levels of cholesterol can be dangerous, but they are not caused by eating cholesterol.) it did help to shift the focus on health from treatment to prevention.
    Another discovery has focused attention on the importance of phytochemicals. Pregnant women with diets deficient in folic acid have a higher incidence of babies with spina bifida and other neural tube defects. These devastating birth defects result from incomplete development of the fetal brain, spinal cord, skull, or spinal column, yet the majority of cases are completely preventable with a healthy diet.
    During the 1980s and 1990s, numerous laboratories began studying phytochemicals to "mine" plants for bioactive substances that might be used as medicines (nutriceuticals) or for other chemical applications. Many compounds are showing great promise as disease fighters in the body, boosting production or activities of enzymes, which then act by blocking carcinogens, suppressing malignant cells, or interfering with the processes that can cause heart disease and stroke.
    As an example, homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body, usually after eating meat, which has been established to cause atherosclerosis, a build-up of fat and other materials on the inside of arteries. Research has proven that diets deficient in folic acid, and vitamins B-6 and B-12, are associated with higher blood levels of homocysteine and a higher incidence of heart disease and stroke. Adding nutritional supplements or foods (such as beans, potatoes, bananas, and broccoli) can reduce elevated homocysteine levels, lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    While many laboratories have been searching for and studying individual phytochemicals, other scientists have been conducting epidemiological studies (studies of diseases in populations) to see what effect different diets have on people. Significantly, they've been able to contrast and compare genetically similar people in different dietary environments; e.g. comparing the health of Japanese eating a traditional diet in Japan versus Japanese-Americans eating a conventional American diet.
    Hundreds of studies from around the world have established that diets high in plant-based foods are associated with lower rates of cancer and heart disease, sometimes astonishingly so. One analysis of data from 23 epidemiological studies showed that a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables reduced the risk of colon cancer by 40 percent. Another study demonstrated that women who don't eat many fruits and vegetables have a 25 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer.
    Phytochemical use comes with a caution sign, however. These compounds aren't always beneficial under all circumstances or in high doses. Certain biochemicals and vitamins, at least as provided in supplements, have been found to encourage the growth of cancer cells and their use is being discouraged in patients undergoing cancer treatments. And, although it has many benefits in other circumstances, high doses of beta-carotene supplements are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in male smokers.
    As they occur naturally in plant foods, phytochemicals promise to create an entirely new philosophy of "functional foods," eating not just to sustain minimal basic health but also eating to prevent disease. In the future, we may tailor our diets to include the foods that will best address our personal health problems and risks as well as maintain optimal health.
    http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/phytochemicals/index.html
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  • The Phytochemical Revolution
    Since the 1970s, increasing numbers of studies are finding associations between the food people eat, their health, and their life expectancy. In the '70s, concerns focused on the role of dietary cholesterol in causing heart disease and cancer. Although the importance of cholesterol in the human diet turned out to be relatively unimportant (high blood levels of cholesterol can be dangerous, but they are not caused by eating cholesterol.) it did help to shift the focus on health from treatment to prevention.
    Another discovery has focused attention on the importance of phytochemicals. Pregnant women with diets deficient in folic acid have a higher incidence of babies with spina bifida and other neural tube defects. These devastating birth defects result from incomplete development of the fetal brain, spinal cord, skull, or spinal column, yet the majority of cases are completely preventable with a healthy diet.
    During the 1980s and 1990s, numerous laboratories began studying phytochemicals to "mine" plants for bioactive substances that might be used as medicines (nutriceuticals) or for other chemical applications. Many compounds are showing great promise as disease fighters in the body, boosting production or activities of enzymes, which then act by blocking carcinogens, suppressing malignant cells, or interfering with the processes that can cause heart disease and stroke.
    As an example, homocysteine is an amino acid produced by the body, usually after eating meat, which has been established to cause atherosclerosis, a build-up of fat and other materials on the inside of arteries. Research has proven that diets deficient in folic acid, and vitamins B-6 and B-12, are associated with higher blood levels of homocysteine and a higher incidence of heart disease and stroke. Adding nutritional supplements or foods (such as beans, potatoes, bananas, and broccoli) can reduce elevated homocysteine levels, lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.
    While many laboratories have been searching for and studying individual phytochemicals, other scientists have been conducting epidemiological studies (studies of diseases in populations) to see what effect different diets have on people. Significantly, they've been able to contrast and compare genetically similar people in different dietary environments; e.g. comparing the health of Japanese eating a traditional diet in Japan versus Japanese-Americans eating a conventional American diet.
    Hundreds of studies from around the world have established that diets high in plant-based foods are associated with lower rates of cancer and heart disease, sometimes astonishingly so. One analysis of data from 23 epidemiological studies showed that a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables reduced the risk of colon cancer by 40 percent. Another study demonstrated that women who don't eat many fruits and vegetables have a 25 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer.
    Phytochemical use comes with a caution sign, however. These compounds aren't always beneficial under all circumstances or in high doses. Certain biochemicals and vitamins, at least as provided in supplements, have been found to encourage the growth of cancer cells and their use is being discouraged in patients undergoing cancer treatments. And, although it has many benefits in other circumstances, high doses of beta-carotene supplements are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in male smokers.
    As they occur naturally in plant foods, phytochemicals promise to create an entirely new philosophy of "functional foods," eating not just to sustain minimal basic health but also eating to prevent disease. In the future, we may tailor our diets to include the foods that will best address our personal health problems and risks as well as maintain optimal health.
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  • http://www.phytochemicals.info/
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  • How do phytochemicals work?
    There are many phytochemicals and each works differently. These are some possible actions:Antioxidant - Most phytochemicals have antioxidant activity and protect our cells against oxidative damage and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Phytochemicals with antioxidant activity: allyl sulfides (onions, leeks, garlic), carotenoids (fruits, carrots), flavonoids (fruits, vegetables), polyphenols (tea, grapes). 
    Hormonal action - Isoflavones, found in soy, imitate human estrogens and help to reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.
    Stimulation of enzymes - Indoles, which are found in cabbages, stimulate enzymes that make the estrogen less effective and could reduce the risk for breast cancer. Other phytochemicals, which interfere with enzymes, are protease inhibitors (soy and beans), terpenes (citrus fruits and cherries).
    Interference with DNA replication - Saponins found in beans interfere with the replication of cell DNA, thereby preventing the multiplication of cancer cells. Capsaicin, found in hot peppers, protects DNA from carcinogens.
    Anti-bacterial effect - The phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties.
    Physical action - Some phytochemicals bind physically to cell walls thereby preventing the adhesion of pathogens to human cell walls. Proanthocyanidins are responsible for the anti-adhesion properties of cranberry. Consumption of cranberries will reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and will improve dental health.
    http://www.phytochemicals.info/
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  • Although more than 5,000 different phytochemicals have already been identified, researchers believe there are thousands more. Any one food can contain hundreds.
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  • CAROTENOIDS MEASURED IN HUMANS: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and beta-cryptoxanthin
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lezuEDuQzJU
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  • CAROTENOIDS MEASURED IN HUMANS: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
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  • http://www.bio.miami.edu/dana/226/226F08_10.html
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  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/
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  • Carotenoids are a class of more than 600 naturally occurring pigments synthesized by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. These richly colored molecules are the sources of the yellow, orange, and red colors of many plants (1). Fruits and vegetables provide most of the carotenoids in the human diet. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin are the most common dietary carotenoids. Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted by the body to retinol (Figure 1). Lutein, lycopene, and zeaxanthin cannot be converted to retinol, so they have no vitamin A activity (Figure 2). Carotenoids can be broadly classified into two classes, carotenes (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lycopene) and xanthophylls (beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin).
    Biological Activities
    Vitamin A Activity
    Vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development, immune system function, and vision. Currently, the only essential function of carotenoids recognized in humans is that of provitamin A carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin) to serve as a source of vitamin A (6). The vitamin A activity of beta-carotene in foods is 1/12 that of retinol (preformed vitamin A), while the vitamin A activities of alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin are both 1/24 that of retinol (6).
    Antioxidant Activity
    In plants, carotenoids have the important antioxidant function of quenching (deactivating) singlet oxygen, an oxidant formed during photosynthesis (7). Test tube studies indicate that lycopene is one of the most effective quenchers of singlet oxygen among carotenoids (8). Although important for plants, the relevance of singlet oxygen quenching to human health is less clear. Test tube studies indicate that carotenoids can also inhibit theoxidation of fats (i.e., lipid peroxidation) under certain conditions, but their actions in humans appear to be more complex (9). At present, it is unclear whether the biological effects of carotenoids in humans are a result of their antioxidant activity or other non-antioxidant mechanisms.
    Light Filtering
    The long system of alternating double and single bonds common to all carotenoids allows them to absorb light in the visible range of the spectrum(7). This feature has particular relevance to the eye, where lutein and zeaxanthin efficiently absorb blue light. Reducing the amount of blue light that reaches the critical visual structures of the eye may protect them from light-induced oxidative damage (10).
    Intercellular Communication
    Carotenoids can facilitate communication between neighboring cells grown in culture by stimulating the synthesis of connexin proteins (11). Connexins form pores (gap junctions) in cell membranes, allowing cells to communicate through the exchange of small molecules. This type of intercellular communication is important for maintaining cells in a differentiated state and is often lost in cancer cells. Carotenoids facilitate intercellular communication by increasing the expression of the gene encoding a connexin protein, an effect that appears unrelated to the vitamin A or antioxidant activities of various carotenoids (12).
    Immune System Activity
    Because vitamin A is essential for normal immune system function, it is difficult to determine whether the effects of provitamin A carotenoids are related to their vitamin A activity or other activities of carotenoids. Although some clinical trials have found that beta-carotene supplementation improves several biomarkers of immune function (13-15), increasing intakes of lycopene and lutein—carotenoids without vitamin A activity—have not resulted in similar improvements in biomarkers of immune function (16-18).
    Deficiency
    Although consumption of provitamin A carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin) can prevent vitamin A deficiency (seevitamin A), no overt deficiency symptoms have been identified in people consuming low-carotenoid diets if they consume adequate vitamin A (6). After reviewing the published scientific research in 2000, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine concluded that the existing evidence was insufficient to establish a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) or adequate intake (AI) for carotenoids. The Board has set a RDA for vitamin A. Recommendations by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables daily are aimed, in part, at increasing intakes of carotenoids.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/
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  • Disease Prevention
    Lung Cancer
    Dietary Carotenoids
    Beta-carotene was the first carotenoid to be measured in foods and human blood. The results of early observational studies suggested an inverse relationship between lung cancer risk and beta-carotene intake, often assessed by measuring blood levels of beta-carotene (19, 20). More recently, the development of databases for other carotenoids in foods has allowed scientists to estimate dietary intakes of total and individual dietary carotenoids more accurately. In contrast to early retrospective studies, more recent prospective cohort studies have not consistently found inverse associations between beta-carotene intake and lung cancer risk. Analysis of dietary carotenoid intake and lung cancer risk in two large prospective cohort studies in the U.S. that followed more than 120,000 men and women for at least ten years revealed no significant association between dietary beta-carotene intake and lung cancer risk (21). However, men and women with the highest intakes of total carotenoids, alpha-carotene, and lycopene were at significantly lower risk of developing lung cancer than those with the lowest intakes. Dietary intakes of total carotenoids, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, but not beta-carotene, were associated with significant reductions in risk of lung cancer in a 14-year study of more than 27,000 Finnish male smokers (22), while only dietary intakes of beta-cryptoxanthin and lutein and zeaxanthin were inversely associated with lung cancer risk in a 6-year study of more than 58,000 Dutch men (23). An analysis of the pooled results of six prospective cohort studies in North America and Europe also found no relationship between dietary beta-carotene intake and lung cancer risk, although those with the highest beta-cryptoxanthin intakes had a risk of lung cancer that was 24% lower than those with the lowest intakes (24). While smoking remains the strongest risk factor for lung cancer, results of recent prospective studies using accurate estimates of dietary carotenoid intake suggest that diets rich in a number of carotenoids—not only beta-carotene—may be associated with reduced lung cancer risk. However, a recent systematic review of prospective cohort studies concluded that any protective effect of dietary carotenoids against the development of lung cancer is likely small and not statistically significant(25).
    Beta-Carotene Supplements
    The effect of beta-carotene supplementation on the risk of developing lung cancer has been examined in three large randomized, placebo-controlled trials. In Finland, the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene (ATBC) cancer prevention trial evaluated the effects of 20 mg/day of beta-carotene and/or 50 mg/day of alpha-tocopherol on more than 29,000 male smokers (26), and in the United States, the beta-Carotene And Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) evaluated the effects of a combination of 30 mg/day of beta-carotene and 25,000 IU/day of retinol (vitamin A) in more than 18,000 men and women who were smokers, former smokers, or had a history of occupational asbestos exposure (27). Unexpectedly, the risk of lung cancer in the groups taking beta-carotene supplements was increased by 16% after six years in the ATBC participants and increased by 28% after four years in the CARET participants. The Physicians’ Health Study examined the effect of beta-carotene supplementation (50 mg every other day) on cancer risk in more than 22,000 male physicians in the United States, of whom only 11% were current smokers (28). In that lower risk population, beta-carotene supplementation for more than 12 years was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Although the reasons for the increase in lung cancer risk are not yet clear several mechanisms have been proposed (29), many experts feel that the risks of high-dose beta-carotene supplementation outweigh any potential benefits for cancer prevention, especially in smokers or other high-risk populations (30, 31). Beta-carotene is sold as individual supplements and also found in supplements marketed to promote visual health (32).
    Prostate Cancer
    Dietary Lycopene
    The results of several prospective cohort studies suggest that lycopene-rich diets are associated with significant reductions in the risk of prostate cancer, particularly more aggressive forms (33). In a prospective study of more than 47,000 health professionals followed for eight years, those with the highest lycopene intake had a risk of prostate cancer that was 21% lower than those with the lowest lycopene intake (34). Those with the highest intakes of tomatoes and tomato products (accounting for 82% of total lycopene intake) had a risk of prostate cancer that was 35% lower and a risk of aggressive prostate cancer that was 53% lower than those with the lowest intakes. Similarly, a prospective study of Seventh Day Adventist men found those who reported the highest tomato intakes were at significantly lower risk of prostate cancer (35), and a prospective study of U.S. physicians found those with the highest plasma lycopene levels were at significantly lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer (36). However, dietary lycopene intake was not related to prostate cancer risk in a prospective study of more than 58,000 Dutch men (37). A meta-analysis that combined the results of 11 case-control and ten prospective studies found men with the highest intakes of dietary lycopene or tomatoes had modest, 11-19% reductions in prostate cancer risk (38). Most recently, a prospective study in a cohort of 29,361 men followed for 4.2 years found no association between dietary lycopene intake and prostate cancer risk (39). Additionally, a recent large prospective study found no association between plasma concentrations of lycopene, or plasma concentrations of total carotenoids, and overall risk of prostate cancer (40). While there is considerable scientific interest in the potential for lycopene to help prevent prostate cancer, it is not yet clear whether the prostate cancer risk reduction observed in some epidemiological studies is related to lycopene itself, other compounds in tomatoes or other factors associated with lycopene-rich diets. To date, results of short-term, dietary intervention studies using lycopene in prostate cancer patients have been promising (41). Yet, the safety and efficacy of long-term use of lycopene supplements for prostate cancer prevention or treatment is not known (41). Large-scale, controlled clinical trials would be needed to address these issues.
    Cardiovascular Disease
    Dietary Carotenoids
    Because they are very soluble in fat and very insoluble in water, carotenoids circulate in lipoproteins along with cholesterol and other fats. Evidence that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation plays a role in the development ofatherosclerosis led scientists to investigate the role of antioxidantcompounds like carotenoids in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (42). The thickness of the inner layers of the carotid arteries can be measured noninvasively using ultrasound technology. This measurement of carotid intima-media thickness is considered a reliable marker of atherosclerosis (43). A number of case-control and cross-sectional studies have found higher blood levels of carotenoids to be associated with significantly lower measures of carotid artery intima-media thickness (44-49). Higher plasma carotenoids at baseline have been associated with significant reductions in risk of cardiovascular disease in some prospective studies (50-54) but not in others(55-58). While the results of several prospective studies indicate that people with higher intakes of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are at lower risk of cardiovascular disease (58-61), it is not yet clear whether this effect is a result of carotenoids or other factors associated with diets high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables.
    Beta-Carotene Supplements
    In contrast to the results of epidemiological studies suggesting that high dietary intakes of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables may decrease cardiovascular disease risk, four randomized controlled trials found no evidence that beta-carotene supplements in doses ranging from 20-50 mg/day were effective in preventing cardiovascular diseases (26, 28, 62, 63). Based on the results of these randomized controlled trials, the U.S. Preventive Health Services Task Force concluded that there was good evidence that beta-carotene supplements provided no benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and older adults (31,64). Thus, although diets rich in beta-carotene have generally been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk in observational studies, there is no evidence that beta-carotene supplementation reduces cardiovascular disease risk (65).
    Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
    In Western countries, degeneration of the macula, the center of the eye’sretina, is the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Unlike cataracts, in which the diseased lens can be replaced, there is no cure for age-related degeneration (AMD). Therefore, efforts are aimed at disease prevention or delaying the progression of AMD.
    Dietary Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    The only carotenoids found in the retina are lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in the macula, where they are efficient absorbers of blue light. By preventing a substantial amount of the blue light entering the eye from reaching the underlying structures involved in vision, lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against light-induced oxidative damage, which is thought to play a role in the pathology of age-related macular degeneration (10). It is also possible, though not proven, that lutein and zeaxanthin act directly to neutralize oxidants formed in the retina. Epidemiological studies provide some evidence that higher intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin are associated with lower risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) (66). However, the relationship is by no means clear-cut. While cross-sectional and retrospective case-control studies found that higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet (67-69), blood (70, 71), and retina (72, 73) were associated with a lower incidence of AMD, severalprospective cohort studies found no relationship between baseline dietary intakes or serum levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and the risk of developing AMD over time (74-77). Although scientists are very interested in the potential for increased lutein and zeaxanthin intakes to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, it is premature to recommend supplements without more data from randomized controlled trials (78). A clinical trial, the Age-related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), is currently under way to evaluate the effect of supplemental lutein and zeaxanthin on the progression of advanced AMD (79). To date, the available scientific evidence suggests that consuming at least 6 mg/day of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin from fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration (67-69).
    Lutein Supplements
    A randomized controlled trial in patients with atrophic AMD found that supplementation with 10 mg/day of lutein slightly improved visual acuity after one year compared to a placebo (80). However, the investigators concluded that further research was needed to assess the effects of long-term lutein supplementation on atrophic AMD.
    Beta-Carotene Supplements
    The first randomized controlled trial (AREDS1) designed to examine the effect of a carotenoid supplement on AMD used beta-carotene in combination with vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc because lutein and zeaxanthin were not commercially available as supplements at the time the trial began (81). Although the combination of antioxidants and zinc lowered the risk of developing advanced macular degeneration in individuals with signs of moderate to severe macular degeneration in at least one eye, it is unlikely that the benefit was related to beta-carotene since it is not present in the retina. Supplementation of male smokers in Finland with 20 mg/day of beta-carotene for six years did not decrease the risk of AMD compared to placebo(82) A placebo-controlled trial in a cohort of 22,071 healthy U.S. men found that beta-carotene supplementation (50 mg every other day) had no effect on the incidence of age-related maculopathy-an early stage of AMD (83). Recent systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials have concluded that there is no evidence that beta-carotene supplementation prevents or delays the onset of AMD (84, 85).
    Cataracts
    Ultraviolet light and oxidants can damage proteins in the eye’s lens, causing structural changes that result in the formation of opacities known ascataracts. As people age, cumulative damage to lens proteins often results in cataracts that are large enough to interfere with vision (7).
    Dietary Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    The observation that lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids in the human lens has stimulated interest in the potential for increased intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin to prevent or slow the progression of cataracts (10). Four large prospective studies found that men and women with the highest intakes of foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, particularly spinach, kale, and broccoli, were 18-50% less likely to require cataract extraction (86, 87) or develop cataracts (88-90). Additional research is required to determine whether these findings are related specifically to lutein and zeaxanthin intake or to other factors associated with diets high in carotenoid-rich foods (66).
    Beta-Carotene Supplements
    Evidence from epidemiological studies that cataracts were less prevalent in people with high dietary intakes and blood levels of carotenoids led to the inclusion of beta-carotene supplements in several large randomized controlled trials of antioxidants. The results of those trials have been somewhat conflicting. Beta-carotene supplementation (20 mg/day) for more than six years did not affect the prevalence of cataracts or the frequency of cataract surgery in male smokers living in Finland (82). In contrast, a 12-year study of male physicians in the U.S. found that beta-carotene supplementation (50 mg every other day) decreased the risk of cataracts in smokers but not in nonsmokers (91). Note that use of beta-carotene supplements have been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers (see above). Three randomized controlled trials examined the effect of an antioxidant combination that included beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E on the progression of cataracts. Two trials found no benefit after supplementation for five years (92) or more than six years (93), but one trial found a small decrease in the progression of cataracts after three years of supplementation (94). Overall, the results of randomized controlled trials suggest that the benefit of beta-carotene supplementation in slowing the progression of age-related cataracts does not outweigh the potential risks.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/
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  • Sources
    Food Sources
    The most prevalent carotenoids in North American diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (6). Carotenoids in foods are mainly in the all-trans form (Figure 1 and Figure 2), although cooking may result in the formation of other isomers. The relatively low bioavailability of carotenoids from most foods compared to supplements is partly due to the fact that they are associated with proteins in the plant matrix (2). Chopping, homogenizing, and cooking disrupt the plant matrix, increasing the bioavailability of carotenoids (4). The bioavailability of lycopene from tomatoes is substantially improved by heating tomatoes in oil (95, 96).
    Alpha-Carotene and Beta-Carotene
    Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted in the body to vitamin A. The vitamin A activity of beta-carotene in foods is 1/12 that of retinol (preformed vitamin A). Thus, it would take 12 mcg of beta-carotene from foods to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg (0.001 mg) of retinol. The vitamin A activity of alpha-carotene from foods is 1/24 that of retinol, so it would take 24 mcg of alpha-carotene from foods to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg of retinol. Orange and yellow vegetables like carrots and winter squash are rich sources of alpha- and beta-carotene. Spinach is also a rich source of beta-carotene, although the chlorophyll in spinach leaves hides the yellow-orange pigment. Some foods that are good sources of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are listed in the tables below(97).
    Alpha-Carotene Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingAlpha-Carotene (mg)Pumpkin, canned1 cup11.7Carrot juice, canned1 cup (8 fl oz)10.2Carrots, cooked1 cup5.9Carrots, raw1 medium2.1Mixed vegetables, frozen, cooked1 cup1.8Winter squash, baked1 cup1.4Plantains, raw1 medium0.8Collards, frozen, cooked1 cup0.2Tomatoes, raw1 medium0.1Tangerines, raw1 medium0.09Peas, edible-podded, frozen, cooked1 cup0.09 
    Beta-Carotene Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingBeta-Carotene (mg)Carrot juice, canned1 cup (8 fl oz)22.0Pumpkin, canned1 cup17.0Spinach, frozen, cooked1 cup13.8Sweet potato, baked1 medium13.1Carrots, cooked1 cup13.0Collards, frozen, cooked1 cup11.6Kale, frozen, cooked1 cup11.5Turnip greens, frozen, cooked1 cup10.6Pumpkin pie1 piece7.4Winter squash, cooked1 cup5.7Carrots, raw1 medium5.1Dandelion greens, cooked1 cup4.1Cantaloupe, raw1 cup3.2 
    Beta-Cryptoxanthin
    Like alpha-and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin is a provitamin A carotenoid. The vitamin A activity of beta-cryptoxanthin from foods is 1/24 that of retinol, so it would take 24 mcg of beta-cryptoxanthin from food to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg (0.001 mg) of retinol. Orange and red fruits and vegetables like sweet red peppers and oranges are particularly rich sources of beta-cryptoxanthin. Some foods that are good sources of beta-cryptoxanthin are listed in the table below (97).
    Beta-Cryptoxanthin Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingBeta-Cryptoxanthin (mg)Pumpkin, cooked1 cup3.6Papayas, raw1 medium2.3Sweet red peppers, cooked1 cup0.6Sweet red peppers, raw1 medium0.6Orange juice, fresh1 cup (8 fl oz)0.4Tangerines, raw1 medium0.4Carrots, frozen, cooked1 cup0.3Yellow corn, frozen, cooked1 cup0.2Watermelon, raw1 wedge (1/16 of a melon that is 15 inches long x 7.5 inches in diameter)0.2Paprika, dried1 tsp0.2Oranges, raw1 medium0.2Nectarines, raw1 medium0.1 
    Lycopene
    Lycopene gives tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and guava their red color. It has been estimated that 80% of the lycopene in the U.S. diet comes from tomatoes and tomato products like tomato sauce, tomato paste, and catsup (ketchup) (98). Lycopene is not a provitamin A carotenoid, meaning the body cannot convert lycopene to vitamin A. Some foods that are good sources of lycopene are listed in the table below (97).
    Lycopene Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingLycopene (mg)Tomato paste, canned1 cup75.4Tomato purée, canned1 cup54.4Tomato soup, canned, condensed1 cup26.4Vegetable juice cocktail, canned1 cup23.3Tomato juice, canned1 cup22.0Watermelon, raw1 wedge (1/16 of a melon that is 15 inches long x 7.5 inches in diameter)13.0Tomatoes, raw1 cup4.6Catsup (ketchup)1 tablespoon2.5Pink grapefruit, raw½ grapefruit1.7Baked beans, canned1 cup1.3 
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    Although lutein and zeaxanthin are different compounds, they are both from the class of carotenoids known as xanthophylls. They are not provitamin A carotenoids. Some methods used to quantify lutein and zeaxanthin in foods do not separate the two compounds, so they are typically reported as lutein and zeaxanthin or lutein + zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are particularly rich sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. One study found that the bioavailability of lutein from lutein-enriched eggs (from chickens fed a lutein-enriched diet) was significantly higher than from spinach or lutein supplements (99). Some foods that are good sources lutein and zeaxanthin are listed in the table below (97).
    Lutein + Zeaxanthin Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingLutein + Zeaxanthin (mg)Spinach, frozen, cooked1 cup29.8Kale, frozen, cooked1 cup25.6Turnip greens, frozen, cooked1 cup19.5Collards, frozen, cooked1 cup18.5Dandelion greens, cooked1 cup9.6Mustard greens, cooked1 cup8.3Summer squash, cooked1 cup4.0Peas, frozen, cooked1 cup3.8Winter squash, baked1 cup2.9Pumpkin, cooked1 cup2.5Brussel sprouts, frozen, cooked1 cup2.4Broccoli, frozen, cooked1 cup2.0Sweet yellow corn, boiled1 cup1.5 
    For more information on the carotenoid content of the foods, search theUSDA National Nutrient Database.
    Supplements
    Dietary supplements providing purified carotenoids and combinations of carotenoids are commercially available in the U.S. without a prescription. Carotenoids are best absorbed when taken with a meal containing fat.
    Beta-Carotene
    Because it is has vitamin A activity, beta-carotene may be used to provide all or part of the vitamin A in multivitamin supplements. The vitamin A activity of beta-carotene from supplements is much higher than that of beta-carotene from foods. It takes only 2 mcg (0.002 mg) of beta-carotene from supplements to provide 1 mcg of retinol (preformed vitamin A). The beta-carotene content of supplements is often listed in international units (IU) rather than mcg; 3,000 mcg (3 mg) of beta-carotene provides 5,000 IU of vitamin A. Most commercial supplements contain 5,000-25,000 IU of beta-carotene (100).
    Lycopene
    Lycopene has no vitamin A activity. Synthetic lycopene and lycopene from natural sources, mainly tomatoes, are available as nutritional supplements. Many commercial supplements provide 5-20 mg of lycopene (100).
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    Lutein and zeaxanthin have no vitamin A activity. Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are available as free carotenoids or as esters (esterified to fatty acids). One study found that free luteine and lutein esters had comparablebioavailability (99), while another found that lutein esters were more bioavailable than free lutein (101). Many commercially available lutein and zeaxanthin supplements have much higher amounts of lutein than zeaxanthin (102). Such supplements typically contain 4-20 mg of lutein and 0.2-1 mg of zeaxanthin, although other dosages are available (100). Supplements containing only lutein or only zeaxanthin are also available.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/
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  • Metabolism and Bioavailability
    For dietary carotenoids to be absorbed intestinally, they must be released from the food matrix and incorporated into mixed micelles (mixtures of bile salts and several types of lipids) (2). Therefore, carotenoid absorption requires the presence of fat in a meal. As little as 3-5 g of fat in a meal appears sufficient to ensure carotenoid absorption (3, 4). Because they do not need to be released from the plant matrix, carotenoids supplements (in oil) are more efficiently absorbed than carotenoids in foods (4). Within the cells that line the intestine (enterocytes), carotenoids are incorporated intotriglyceride-rich lipoproteins called chylomicrons and released into the circulation (2). Triglycerides are depleted from circulating chylomicrons through the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, resulting in the formation of chylomicron remnants. Chylomicron remnants are taken up by the liver, where carotenoids are incorporated into lipoproteins and secreted back into the circulation. In the intestine and the liver, provitamin A carotenoids may be cleaved to produce retinal, a form of vitamin A. The conversion of provitamin A carotenoids to vitamin A is influenced by the vitamin A status of the individual (5). Although the regulatory mechanism is not yet clear in humans, cleavage of provitamin A carotenoids appears to be inhibited when vitamin A stores are high.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/
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  • Eat plenty, get the variety, do not overcook
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKQhhnq_uWA&feature=relmfu
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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeRUhxUMF0k
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  • Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenolic compounds synthesized by plants. 
    Biological roles
    Flavonoids are widely distributed in plants fulfilling many functions.
    Flavonoids are the most important plant pigments for flower coloration producing yellow or red/blue pigmentation in petals designed to attractpollinator animals.
    Flavonoids secreted by the root of their host plant help Rhizobia in the infection stage of their symbiotic relationship with legumes like peas, beans, clover, and soy. Rhizobia living in soil are able to sense the flavonoids and this triggers the secretion of Nod factors, which in turn are recognized by the host plant and can lead to root hair deformation and several cellular responses such as ion fluxes and the formation of aroot nodule.
    They also protect plants from attacks by microbes, fungi[3] and insects.
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  • Flavonoids are a large family of compounds synthesized by plants that have a common chemical structure.
    Flavonoids (or bioflavonoids), also collectively known as Vitamin P and citrin[1], are a class of plantsecondary metabolites. According to the IUPAC nomenclature,[2] they can be classified into:
    flavonoids, derived from 2-phenylchromen-4-one (2-phenyl-1,4-benzopyrone) structure (examples:quercetin, rutin).
    isoflavonoids, derived from 3-phenylchromen-4-one (3-phenyl-1,4-benzopyrone) structure
    neoflavonoids, derived from 4-phenylcoumarine (4-phenyl-1,2-benzopyrone) structure.
    The three flavonoid classes above are all ketone-containing compounds, and as such, are flavonoids and flavonols. This class was the first to be termed "bioflavonoids." The terms flavonoid and bioflavonoid have also been more loosely used to describe non-ketone polyhydroxy polyphenol compounds which are more specifically termed flavanoids, flavan-3-ols, or catechins (although catechins are actually a subgroup offlavanoids).
    Shown here are chem structures of anthocyanidins, flavanols, and flavanones.
    Metabolism and Bioavailability
    Flavonoids connected to one or more sugar molecules are known as flavonoidglycosides, while those that are not connected to a sugar molecule are called aglycones. With the exception of flavanols (catechins and proanthocyanidins), flavonoids occur in plants and most foods as glycosides (2). Even after cooking, most flavonoid glycosides reach the small intestine intact. Only flavonoid aglycones and flavonoid glucosides (bound to glucose) are absorbed in the small intestine, where they are rapidly metabolized to form methylated, glucuronidated, or sulfated metabolites (3). Bacteria that normally colonize the colon also play an important role in flavonoid metabolism and absorption. Flavonoids or flavonoids metabolites that reach the colon may be further metabolized by bacterial enzymes, and then absorbed. A person's ability to produce specific flavonoid metabolites may vary and depends on the milieu of the colonic microflora (4, 5). In general, thebioavailability of flavonoids is relatively low due to limited absorption and rapid elimination. Bioavailability differs for the various flavonoids: isoflavones are the most bioavailable group of flavonoids, while flavanols (proanthocyanidins and tea catechins) and anthocyanins are very poorly absorbed (6). Since flavonoids are rapidly and extensively metabolized, the biological activities of flavonoid metabolites are not always the same as those of the parent compound [reviewed in (7)]. When evaluating the data from flavonoid research in cultured cells, it is important to consider whether the flavonoid concentrations and metabolites used are physiologically relevant (8). In humans, peak plasma concentrations of soy isoflavones and citrus flavanones have not been found to exceed 10 micromoles/liter after oral consumption. Peak plasma concentrations measured after the consumption of anthocyanins, flavanols and flavonols (including those from tea) are generally less than 1 micromole/liter (3).
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  • Potential for biological activity
    Flavonoids (specifically flavanoids such as the catechins) are "the most common group of polyphenolic compounds in the human diet and are found ubiquitously in plants".[4] Flavonols, the original bioflavonoids such as quercetin, are also found ubiquitously, but in lesser quantities. Both sets of compounds have evidence of health-modulating effects in animals which eat them.
    The widespread distribution of flavonoids, their variety and their relatively low toxicity compared to other active plant compounds (for instancealkaloids) mean that many animals, including humans, ingest significant quantities in their diet. Resulting from experimental evidence that they may modify allergens, viruses, and carcinogens, flavonoids have potential to be biological "response modifiers", such as anti-allergic,anti-inflammatory,[5] anti-microbial[6] and anti-cancer activities shown from in vitro studies.[7]
    [edit]Antioxidant activity in vitro
    Flavonoids (both flavonols and flavanols) are most commonly known for their antioxidant activity in vitro.
    Consumers and food manufacturers have become interested in flavonoids for their possible medicinal properties, especially their putative role in prevention of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Although physiological evidence is not yet established, the beneficial effects of fruits, vegetables, tea, and red wine have sometimes been attributed to flavonoid compounds rather than to known micronutrients, such as vitaminsand dietary minerals.[8]
    Alternatively, research conducted at the Linus Pauling Institute and evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority indicates that, following dietary intake, flavonoids themselves are of little or no direct antioxidant value.[9][10] As body conditions are unlike controlled test tube conditions, flavonoids and other polyphenols are poorly absorbed (less than 5%), with most of what is absorbed being quickly metabolized and excreted. The increase in antioxidant capacity of blood seen after the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods is not caused directly by flavonoids themselves, but most likely is due to increased uric acid levels that result from metabolism of flavonoids.[11] According to Frei, "we can now follow the activity of flavonoids in the body, and one thing that is clear is that the body sees them as foreign compounds and is trying to get rid of them."
    [edit]Other potential health benefits
    [edit]Cancer
    Physiological processing of unwanted flavonoid compounds induces so-called Phase II enzymes that also help to eliminate mutagens and carcinogens, and therefore may be of value in cancer prevention. Flavonoids could also induce mechanisms that may kill cancer cells and inhibit tumor invasion.[11] UCLA cancer researchers have found that study participants who ate foods containing certain flavonoids, such ascatechins found in strawberries and green and black teas; kaempferol from brussel sprouts and apples; and quercetin from beans, onions and apples, may have reduced risk of obtaining lung cancer.[12]
    Research also indicated that only small amounts of flavonoids may be needed for possible benefits. Taking large dietary supplements likely provides no extra benefit and may pose risks. However, certainty of neither a benefit nor a risk has been proven yet in large-scale humanintervention trials.[11]
    [edit]Diarrhea
    A study done at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, in collaboration with scientists at Heinrich Heine University in Germany, has shown that epicatechin, quercetin and luteolin can inhibit the development of fluids that result in diarrhea by targeting the intestinal cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator Cl– transport inhibiting cAMP-stimulated Cl– secretion in the intestine.[13]
    [edit]Capillary stabilizing agents
    Bioflavonoids like rutin, monoxerutin, diosmin, troxerutin and hidrosmin have potential vasoprotective proprieties still under experimental evaluation.[citation needed]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavonoid
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    Disease Prevention
    Cardiovascular Disease
    Epidemiological Evidence
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/flavonoids/
    Several prospective cohort studies conducted in the U.S. and Europe have examined the relationship between some measure of dietary flavonoid intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk (42-49). Some studies have found that higher flavonoid intakes to be associated with significant reductions in CHD risk (42-46, 50), while others have reported no significant relationship (47-49, 51). In general, the foods that contributed most to total flavonoid intake in these cohorts were black tea, apples, and onions. One study in the Netherlands also found cocoa to be a significant source of dietary flavonoids. Of seven prospective cohort studies that examined relationships between dietary flavonoid intake and the risk of stroke, only two studies found that higher flavonoid intakes were associated with significant reductions in the risk of stroke (45, 52), while five found no relationship (46, 49, 50, 53, 54). Although data from prospective cohort studies suggest that higher intakes of flavonoid-rich foods may help protect against CHD, it cannot be determined whether such protection is conferred by flavonoids, other nutrients and phytochemicals in flavonoid-rich foods, or the whole foods themselves (55).
    Vascular Endothelial Function
    Vascular endothelial cells play an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health by producing nitric oxide, a compound that promotes arterial relaxation (vasodilation) (56). Arterial vasodilation resulting from endothelial production of nitric oxide is termed endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Several clinical trials have examined the effect of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages on endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Two controlled clinical trials found that daily consumption of 4-5 cups (900-1,250 ml) of black tea for four weeks significantly improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation in patients with coronary artery disease (57) and in patients with mildly elevated serum cholesterol levels (58) compared with the equivalent amount of caffeine alone or hot water. Other small clinical trials found similar improvements in endothelium-dependent vasodilation in response to daily consumption of about 3 cups (640 ml) of purple grape juice (59) or a high-flavonoid dark chocolate bar for two weeks (60). More recently, a 6-week cocoa intervention trial in 32 postmenopausal women with high cholesterol levels found significant improvements in endothelial function with daily cocoa supplementation (61). Improvements in endothelial function were also noted in conventionally medicated type 2 diabetics following flavanol-rich cocoa supplementation for 30 days (62). The flavanol epicatechin appears to be one of the compounds in flavanol-rich cocoa responsible for its vasodilatory effects (63). Interestingly, a recent randomized controlled trial in 44 older adults found that low doses of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate (6.3 grams/day for 18 weeks; equivalent to 30 calories) increased levels of plasma S-nitrosoglutathione, an indicator of nitric oxide production, compared to flavonoid-devoid white chocolate (64).
    Endothelial nitric oxide production also inhibits the adhesion and aggregation of platelets, one of the first steps in blood clot formation (56). A number of clinical trials have examined the potential for high flavonoid intakes to decrease various measures of platelet aggregation outside of the body (ex vivo); such trials have reported mixed results. In general, increasing flavonoid intakes by increasing fruit and/or vegetable intake did not significantly affect ex vivo platelet aggregation (41, 65, 66), nor did increasing black tea consumption (67, 68). However, several small clinical trials in healthy adults have reported significant decreases in ex vivo measures of platelet aggregation after consumption of grape juice (~500 ml/day) for 7-14 days(69-71) Similar inhibition of platelet aggregation has been reported following acute or short-term consumption of dark chocolate (72) and following acute consumption of a flavonoid-rich cocoa beverage (73, 74). In addition, aplacebo-controlled trial in 32 healthy adults found that 4-week supplementation with flavanols and procyanidins from cocoa inhibited platelet aggregation and function (75). The results of some controlled clinical trials suggest that relatively high intakes of some flavonoid-rich foods and beverages, including black tea, purple grape juice, and cocoa, may improve vascular endothelial function, but it is not known whether these short-term improvements will result in long-term reductions in cardiovascular disease risk.
    Cancer
    Although various flavonoids have been found to inhibit the development of chemically-induced cancers in animal models of lung (76), oral (77), esophageal (78), stomach (79), colon (80), skin (81), prostate (82, 83), and mammary (breast) cancer (84), epidemiological studies do not provide convincing evidence that high intakes of dietary flavonoids are associated with substantial reductions in human cancer risk. Most prospective cohort studies that have assessed dietary flavonoid intake using food frequency questionnaires have not found flavonoid intake to be inversely associated with cancer risk (85). Two prospective cohort studies in Europe found no relationship between the risk of various cancers and dietary intakes of flavones and flavonols (86, 87), catechins (88), or tea (89). In a cohort of postmenopausal women in the U.S., catechin intake from tea, but not fruits and vegetables, was inversely associated with the risk of rectal cancer, but not other cancers (90). Two prospective cohort studies in Finland, where average flavonoid intakes are relatively low, found that men with the highest dietary intakes of flavonols and flavones had a significantly lower risk of developing lung cancer than those with the lowest intakes (44, 45). When individual dietary flavonoids were analyzed, dietary quercetin intake, mainly from apples, was inversely associated with the risk of lung cancer; myricetin intake was inversely associated with the risk of prostate cancer (45). Tea is an important source of flavonoids (flavanols and flavonols) in some populations, but most prospective cohort studies have not found tea consumption to be inversely associated with cancer risk [reviewed in (91)]. The results of case-control studies, which are more likely to be influenced by recall bias, are mixed. While some studies have observed lower flavonoid intakes in people diagnosed with lung (92), stomach (93, 94), and breast(95) cancer, many others have found no significant differences in flavonoid intake between cancer cases and controls (96, 97). There is limited evidence that low intakes of flavonoids from food are associated with increased risk of certain cancers, but it is not clear whether these findings are related to insufficient intakes of flavonoids or other nutrients and phytochemicals found in flavonoid-rich foods. For more information on flavonoid-rich foods and cancer, see separate articles on Fruits and Vegetables, Legumes, and Tea. Clinical trials will be necessary to determine if specific flavonoids are beneficial in the prevention or treatment of cancer; a few clinical trials are currently under way (see http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials).
    Neurodegenerative Disease
    Inflammation, oxidative stress, and transition metal accumulation appear to play a role in the pathology of several neurodegenerative diseases, includingParkinson's disease and Alzheimer’s disease (98). Because flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and metal-chelating properties, scientists are interested in the neuroprotective potential of flavonoid-rich diets or individual flavonoids. At present, the extent to which various dietary flavonoids and flavonoid metabolites cross the blood brain barrier in humans is not known(99, 100). Although flavonoid-rich diets and flavonoid administration have been found to prevent cognitive impairment associated with aging and inflammation in some animal studies (101-104), prospective cohort studieshave not found consistent inverse associations between flavonoid intake and the risk of dementia or neurodegenerative disease in humans (105-109). In a cohort of Japanese-American men followed for 25-30 years, flavonoid intake from tea during midlife was not associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia in late life (105). Surprisingly, higher intakes of isoflavone-rich tofu during midlife were associated with cognitive impairment and brain atrophy in late life (see Soy Isoflavones) (106). A prospective study of Dutch adults found that total dietary flavonoid intake was not associated with the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (107) or Alzheimer’s disease(108), except in current smokers whose risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 50% for every 12 mg increase in daily flavonoid intake. In contrast, a study of elderly French men and women found that those with the lowest flavonoid intakes had a risk of developing dementia over the next five years that was 50% higher than those with the highest intakes (109). More recently, a study in 1,640 elderly men and women found that those with higher dietary flavonoid intake (>13.6 mg/day) had better cognitive performance at baseline and experienced significantly less age-related cognitive decline over a 10-year period than those with a lower flavonoid intake (0-10.4 mg/day) (110). Additionally, a randomized, double-blind,placebo-controlled clinical trial in 202 postmenopausal women reported that daily supplementation with 25.6 g of soy protein (containing 99 mg of isoflavones) for one year did not improve cognitive function (111). However, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial in 77 postmenopausal women found that 6-month supplementation with 60 mg/day of isoflavones improved some measures of cognitive performance(112). Although scientists are interested in the potential of flavonoids to protect the aging brain, it is not yet clear how flavonoid consumption affects neurodegenerative disease risk in humans.
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  • Sources
    Food Sources
    The most prevalent carotenoids in North American diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (6). Carotenoids in foods are mainly in the all-trans form (Figure 1 and Figure 2), although cooking may result in the formation of other isomers. The relatively low bioavailability of carotenoids from most foods compared to supplements is partly due to the fact that they are associated with proteins in the plant matrix (2). Chopping, homogenizing, and cooking disrupt the plant matrix, increasing the bioavailability of carotenoids (4). The bioavailability of lycopene from tomatoes is substantially improved by heating tomatoes in oil (95, 96).
    Alpha-Carotene and Beta-Carotene
    Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted in the body to vitamin A. The vitamin A activity of beta-carotene in foods is 1/12 that of retinol (preformed vitamin A). Thus, it would take 12 mcg of beta-carotene from foods to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg (0.001 mg) of retinol. The vitamin A activity of alpha-carotene from foods is 1/24 that of retinol, so it would take 24 mcg of alpha-carotene from foods to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg of retinol. Orange and yellow vegetables like carrots and winter squash are rich sources of alpha- and beta-carotene. Spinach is also a rich source of beta-carotene, although the chlorophyll in spinach leaves hides the yellow-orange pigment. Some foods that are good sources of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are listed in the tables below(97).
    Alpha-Carotene Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingAlpha-Carotene (mg)Pumpkin, canned1 cup11.7Carrot juice, canned1 cup (8 fl oz)10.2Carrots, cooked1 cup5.9Carrots, raw1 medium2.1Mixed vegetables, frozen, cooked1 cup1.8Winter squash, baked1 cup1.4Plantains, raw1 medium0.8Collards, frozen, cooked1 cup0.2Tomatoes, raw1 medium0.1Tangerines, raw1 medium0.09Peas, edible-podded, frozen, cooked1 cup0.09 
    Beta-Carotene Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingBeta-Carotene (mg)Carrot juice, canned1 cup (8 fl oz)22.0Pumpkin, canned1 cup17.0Spinach, frozen, cooked1 cup13.8Sweet potato, baked1 medium13.1Carrots, cooked1 cup13.0Collards, frozen, cooked1 cup11.6Kale, frozen, cooked1 cup11.5Turnip greens, frozen, cooked1 cup10.6Pumpkin pie1 piece7.4Winter squash, cooked1 cup5.7Carrots, raw1 medium5.1Dandelion greens, cooked1 cup4.1Cantaloupe, raw1 cup3.2 
    Beta-Cryptoxanthin
    Like alpha-and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin is a provitamin A carotenoid. The vitamin A activity of beta-cryptoxanthin from foods is 1/24 that of retinol, so it would take 24 mcg of beta-cryptoxanthin from food to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg (0.001 mg) of retinol. Orange and red fruits and vegetables like sweet red peppers and oranges are particularly rich sources of beta-cryptoxanthin. Some foods that are good sources of beta-cryptoxanthin are listed in the table below (97).
    Beta-Cryptoxanthin Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingBeta-Cryptoxanthin (mg)Pumpkin, cooked1 cup3.6Papayas, raw1 medium2.3Sweet red peppers, cooked1 cup0.6Sweet red peppers, raw1 medium0.6Orange juice, fresh1 cup (8 fl oz)0.4Tangerines, raw1 medium0.4Carrots, frozen, cooked1 cup0.3Yellow corn, frozen, cooked1 cup0.2Watermelon, raw1 wedge (1/16 of a melon that is 15 inches long x 7.5 inches in diameter)0.2Paprika, dried1 tsp0.2Oranges, raw1 medium0.2Nectarines, raw1 medium0.1 
    Lycopene
    Lycopene gives tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, and guava their red color. It has been estimated that 80% of the lycopene in the U.S. diet comes from tomatoes and tomato products like tomato sauce, tomato paste, and catsup (ketchup) (98). Lycopene is not a provitamin A carotenoid, meaning the body cannot convert lycopene to vitamin A. Some foods that are good sources of lycopene are listed in the table below (97).
    Lycopene Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingLycopene (mg)Tomato paste, canned1 cup75.4Tomato purée, canned1 cup54.4Tomato soup, canned, condensed1 cup26.4Vegetable juice cocktail, canned1 cup23.3Tomato juice, canned1 cup22.0Watermelon, raw1 wedge (1/16 of a melon that is 15 inches long x 7.5 inches in diameter)13.0Tomatoes, raw1 cup4.6Catsup (ketchup)1 tablespoon2.5Pink grapefruit, raw½ grapefruit1.7Baked beans, canned1 cup1.3 
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    Although lutein and zeaxanthin are different compounds, they are both from the class of carotenoids known as xanthophylls. They are not provitamin A carotenoids. Some methods used to quantify lutein and zeaxanthin in foods do not separate the two compounds, so they are typically reported as lutein and zeaxanthin or lutein + zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are particularly rich sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. One study found that the bioavailability of lutein from lutein-enriched eggs (from chickens fed a lutein-enriched diet) was significantly higher than from spinach or lutein supplements (99). Some foods that are good sources lutein and zeaxanthin are listed in the table below (97).
    Lutein + Zeaxanthin Content of Selected FoodsFoodServingLutein + Zeaxanthin (mg)Spinach, frozen, cooked1 cup29.8Kale, frozen, cooked1 cup25.6Turnip greens, frozen, cooked1 cup19.5Collards, frozen, cooked1 cup18.5Dandelion greens, cooked1 cup9.6Mustard greens, cooked1 cup8.3Summer squash, cooked1 cup4.0Peas, frozen, cooked1 cup3.8Winter squash, baked1 cup2.9Pumpkin, cooked1 cup2.5Brussel sprouts, frozen, cooked1 cup2.4Broccoli, frozen, cooked1 cup2.0Sweet yellow corn, boiled1 cup1.5 
    For more information on the carotenoid content of the foods, search theUSDA National Nutrient Database.
    Supplements
    Dietary supplements providing purified carotenoids and combinations of carotenoids are commercially available in the U.S. without a prescription. Carotenoids are best absorbed when taken with a meal containing fat.
    Beta-Carotene
    Because it is has vitamin A activity, beta-carotene may be used to provide all or part of the vitamin A in multivitamin supplements. The vitamin A activity of beta-carotene from supplements is much higher than that of beta-carotene from foods. It takes only 2 mcg (0.002 mg) of beta-carotene from supplements to provide 1 mcg of retinol (preformed vitamin A). The beta-carotene content of supplements is often listed in international units (IU) rather than mcg; 3,000 mcg (3 mg) of beta-carotene provides 5,000 IU of vitamin A. Most commercial supplements contain 5,000-25,000 IU of beta-carotene (100).
    Lycopene
    Lycopene has no vitamin A activity. Synthetic lycopene and lycopene from natural sources, mainly tomatoes, are available as nutritional supplements. Many commercial supplements provide 5-20 mg of lycopene (100).
    Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    Lutein and zeaxanthin have no vitamin A activity. Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are available as free carotenoids or as esters (esterified to fatty acids). One study found that free luteine and lutein esters had comparablebioavailability (99), while another found that lutein esters were more bioavailable than free lutein (101). Many commercially available lutein and zeaxanthin supplements have much higher amounts of lutein than zeaxanthin (102). Such supplements typically contain 4-20 mg of lutein and 0.2-1 mg of zeaxanthin, although other dosages are available (100). Supplements containing only lutein or only zeaxanthin are also available.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/carotenoids/
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  • Common Dietary Flavonoids
    Good sources of flavonoids include all citrus fruits, berries, ginkgo biloba, onions[18][19], parsley[20], (particularly red onion[21]) pulses[22], tea(especially white and green tea), red wine, seabuckthorn, and dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of seventy percent or greater).
    [edit]Citrus
    A variety of flavonoids are found in citrusfruits, including grapefruit.
    The citrus bioflavonoids include hesperidin (a glycoside of the flavanone hesperetin), quercitrin,rutin (two glycosides of the flavonol quercetin), and the flavone tangeritin. In addition to possessing in vitro antioxidant activity and an ability to increase intracellular levels of vitamin C, rutin andhesperidin may have beneficial effects on capillary permeability and blood flow. They also exhibit anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory benefits of quercetin from in vitro studies. Quercetin can also inhibit reverse transcriptase, part of the replication process of retroviruses.[23] The therapeutic relevance of this inhibition has not been established. Hydroxyethylrutosides (HER) have potential for use in the treatment of abnormal capillary permeability, bruising, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins.
    [edit]Tea
    Main article: Health effects of tea
    Green tea contains flavonoids
    Green tea flavonoids are potent antioxidant compounds in vitro, with potential to reduce incidence of cancer [24][25] and heart disease. The major flavonoids in green tea are kaempferol andcatechins (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)).
    In producing teas such as oolong tea and black tea, the leaves are allowed to oxidize, during whichenzymes present in the tea convert some or all of the catechins to larger molecules.[citation needed]However, green tea is produced by steaming the fresh-cut tea leaves, which deactivates these enzymes, and oxidation does not significantly occur. White tea is the least processed of teas and is shown to present the highest amount of catechins known to occur in Camellia sinensis.[citation needed]
    [edit]Wine
    See also: Phenolic compounds in wine
    Grape skins contain significant amounts of flavonoids as well as other polyphenols[26]. Both red and white wine contain flavonoids; however, since red wine is produced by fermentation in the presence of the grape skins, red wine has been observed to contain higher levels of flavonoids, and other polyphenolics such as resveratrol.
    [edit]Dark chocolate
    Main article: Health effects of chocolate
    Flavonoids exist naturally in cacao, but because they can be bitter, they are often removed from chocolate, even dark chocolate.[27] While flavonoids are present in milk chocolate, studies have shown that they are not readily conserved or absorbed by the body, nor are they absorbed when consumed with milk.
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  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/flavonoids/
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  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/flavonoids/
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  • http://www.raysahelian.com/phenolic.html
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  • In organic chemistry, phenols, sometimes called phenolics, are a class of chemical compounds consisting of a hydroxyl group (-OH)bonded directly to an aromatic hydrocarbon group. The simplest of the class is phenol (C6H5OH).
    Chemistry of PhenolicsPlant phenolic compounds are diverse in structure but are characterised by hydroxylated aromatic rings (e.g. flavan-3-ols). They are categorised as secondary metabolites, and their function in plants is often poorly understood. Many plant phenolic compounds are polymerised into larger molecules such as the proanthocyanidins (PA; condensed tannins) and lignins.     Furthermore, phenolic acids may occur in food plants as esters or glycosides conjugated with other natural compounds such as flavonoids, alcohols, hydroxyfatty acids, sterols, and glucosides.
    PhenolsPhenols, sometimes called phenolics, are a class of chemical compounds consisting of a hydroxyl functional group (-OH) attached to an aromatic hydrocarbon group. The simplest of the class is phenol (C6H5OH). Some phenols are germicidal and are used in formulating disinfectants. Others possess estrogenic or endocrine disrupting activity. Phenolic compounds Phenol, the parent compound, used as an disinfectant and for chemical synthesis. Polyphenols like the flavonoids and tannins. Capsaicin, the pungent compound of chilli peppers. Tyrosine, an amino acid. The neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. L-DOPA, a drug to treat Parkinson's disease. Eugenol, the main constituent of the essential oil of clove. Chavibetol from betel. Estradiol and other estrogens. Scientists have formulated the 'phenolic A ring hypothesis' for the neuroprotective effects of estrogens based upon several observations: (i) structure-activity relationships show that a phenolic A ring and at least two additional rings are required for neuroprotection while estrogenicity requirements are more stringent; (ii) neuroprotection with phenolic A ring compounds occurs in cells that lack estrogen receptors and are not antagonized by anti-estrogens; (iii) phenolic A ring compounds rapidly activate a variety of signal transduction pathways that are known to be involved in cell homeostasis; and (iv) in vivo, treatment with estrogens results in a neuronal type-independent neuronal protection from ischemic insult. Potential mechanisms of actions that may be involved in the neuroprotective effects of phenolic A ring compounds are: (i) estrogen redox cycling that potently inhibits oxidative stress; (ii) interactions with signal transduction pathways including the transcription factor cAMP response element binding protein; and (iii) induction of anti-apoptotic proteins. These signaling pathways may individually or collectively contribute to the plethora of neuronal cell types that are protected from a variety of insults by estrogen-like compounds. Methyl salicylate, the major constituent of the essential oil of wintergreen. Raspberry ketone a compound with an intense raspberry smell. Salicylic acid is a phenolic compoundGallic acid, found in gallnuts.Ellagic acidThymol (2-Isopropyl-5-methyl phenol), an antiseptic that is used in mouthwashes. BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a fat-soluble antioxidant and food additive. ... and many more.
    http://www.raysahelian.com/phenolic.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenols#Phenolic_compounds
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeic_acid
    Caffeic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound. This yellow solid consists of bothphenolic and acrylic functional groups. It is found in all plants because it is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of lignin, one of the principal sources of biomass.
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  • http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-cooking-article/health-benefits-of-bamboo-shoots/980028
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  • http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-cooking-article/health-benefits-of-bamboo-shoots/980028
    Content of Phenolic compounds in Tea, Coffee, Berries and FruitsThe content of total phenolic acids range from 0 (pear cider) to 103 mg/100 g fresh weight (rowanberry). Besides rowanberry, the best phenolic acid sources among berries are chokeberry (96 mg/100 g), blueberry (85 mg/100 g), sweet rowanberry (75 mg/100 g), and saskatoon berry (59 mg/100 g). Among fruits, the highest contents (28 mg/100 g) ared in dark plum, cherry, and one apple variety (Valkea Kuulas). Coffee (97 mg/100 g) as well as green and black teas (30-36 mg/100 g) are the best sources among beverages. Caffeic acid dominates in all of these samples except in tea brews.
    http://www.raysahelian.com/phenolic.html
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  • Some species of coffee plants discovered has little or no caffeine content:
    http://itotd.com/articles/640/coffee-decaffeination-processes/
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  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Phytoestrogens2.png
    Phytoestrogens mainly belong to a large group of substituted polyphenolic compounds : the coumestans, prenylated flavonoids andisoflavones are three of the most active in estrogenic effects in this class. The best-researched are isoflavones, which are commonly found insoy and red clover. Lignans have also been identified as phytoestrogens, although they are not flavonoids[1]. Mycoestrogens have similar structures and effects, but are not components of plants; these are mold metabolites of Fusarium, a fungus that is frequently found in pastures as well as in alfalfa and clover. Although mycoestrogens are rarely taken into account in discussions about phytoestrogens, these are the compounds that initially generated the interest on the topic.
    Phytoestrogens exert their effects primarily through binding to estrogen receptors (ER).[8] There are two variants of the estrogen receptor, alpha (ER-α) and beta (ER-β) and many phytoestrogens display somewhat higher affinity for ER-β compared to ER-α.[8]
    The key structural elements that enable phytoestrogens to bind with high affinity to estrogen receptors and display estradiol-like effects are:[1]
    The phenolic ring that is indispensable for binding to estrogen receptor
    The ring of isoflavones mimicking a ring of estrogens at the receptors binding site
    Low molecular weight similar to estrogens (MW=272)
    Distance between two hydroxyl groups at the isoflavones nucleus similar to that occurring in estradiol
    Optimal hydroxylation pattern
    In addition to interaction with ERs, phytoestrogens may also modulate the concentration of endogenous estrogens by binding or inactivating some enzymes, and may affect the bioavailability of sex hormones by binding or stimulating the synthesis of sex hormone binding globuline (SHBG).[3]
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  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytoestrogens
    In human beings, phytoestrogens are readily absorbed, circulate in plasma and are excreted in the urine. Metabolic influence is different from that of grazing animals due to the differences between ruminant versus monogastric digestive systems.[11]
    In the last few years, there has been a great deal of research into the possible beneficial effects of phytoestrogens in both diabetes and coronary heart disease.
    [edit]Males
    The use of phytoestrogens (as soy protein) in fast food meals and other processed foods as a low-cost substitute for meat products may lead to excessive consumption of isoflavonoids by fast food eaters. A research team at the Queen's University in Belfast, in a review article, speculate that such intake may lead to a slight decrease in male fertility, including a decrease in reproductive capability if isoflavones are taken in excess during childhood.[21]
    In theory, exposure to high levels of phytoestrogens in males could alter their hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. However, studies have shown that such a hormonal effect is minor.[22] Isoflavones supplementation has no effect on sperm concentration, count or motility, and show no changes in testicular or ejaculate volume.[23][24]
    [edit]Females
    There are conflicting studies, and it is unclear if phytoestrogens have any effect on the cause or prevention of cancer in females.[25][26]Epidemiological studies showed a protective effect against breast cancer.[27] In vitro studies concluded that females with current or past breast cancer should be aware of the risks of potential tumor growth when taking soy products, as they can stimulate the growth of estrogen receptor-positive cells in vitro. The potential for tumor growth was found related only with small concentration of genistein, and protective effects were found with larger concentrations of the same phytoestrogen.[28] A 2006 review article stated the opinion that not enough information is available, and that even if isoflavones have mechanisms to inhibit tumor growth, in vitro results justify the need to evaluate, at cellular level, the impact of isoflavones on breast tissue in females at high risk for breast cancer.[29] Recent epidemiologic studies suggest that consumption of soy estrogens is safe for patients with breast cancer, and may decrease mortality and recurrence rates.[30] A Cochrane Review of the use of phytoestrogens to relieve the vasomotor symptoms of menopause (hot flashes) demonstrated that there was no evidence to suggest any benefit to their use.[31]
    HRT may also be effective at reversing the effects of aging on muscle. A future aim is to target therapy to molecular mechanisms that work specifically in selected tissues.[32]
    [edit]Infant formula
    Some studies have found that some concentrations of isoflavones may have effects on intestinal cells. At low doses, genistein acted as a weak estrogen and stimulated cell growth; at high doses, it inhibited proliferation and altered cell cycle dynamics. This biphasic response correlates with how genistein is thought to exert its effects.[33]
    Some reviews express the opinion that more research is needed to answer the question of what effect phytoestrogens may have on infants,[34][35], but their authors did not find any adverse effects. Multiple studies conclude there are no adverse effects in human growth, development, or reproduction as a result of the consumption of soy-based infant formula compared to conventional cow-milk formula.[36][36][37][38] While it should be noted that all infant formulas are inferior to human milk, soy formula presents no more risk than cow-milk formula.[39] One of these studies, published at the Journal of Nutrition,[38] concludes that:
    "Comprehensive literature reviews and clinical studies of infants fed SBIFs [soy-based infant formulas] have resolved questions or raise no clinical concerns with respect to nutritional adequacy, sexual development, neurobehavioral development, immune development, or thyroid disease. SBIFs provide complete nutrition that adequately supports normal infant growth and development. FDA has accepted SBIFs as safe for use as the sole source of nutrition"
    Clinical guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics state: "although isolated soy protein-based formulas may be used to provide nutrition for normal growth and development, there are few indications for their use in place of cow milk-based formula. These indications include (a) for infants with galactosemia and hereditary lactase deficiency (rare) and (b) in situations in which a vegetarian diet is preferred."[40]
    ============================================================================================
    Possible Health Benefits  
    Recent research may help identify potential health benefits and shed light on how plant compounds may protect against certain diseases.
    Phytoestrogens have been suggested as cancer preventatives and as treatments for menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis (Adlercreutz and Mazur 1997; Messina et al. 2002). 
    CAPTION: Soybeans and other legumes contain the estrogen-like genistein. (click image for 3-D interactive animation)CREDIT: National Library of Medicine
    Laboratory animal studies and comparisons of Asian and Western human populations suggest that diet plays a large role in these types of health problems. Asian populations generally eat large quantities of soy products compared to Western populations. One study found that Asian populations have lower rates of hormone-dependent cancers (breast, endometrial) and lower incidences of menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis than Westerners. Asian immigrants living in Western nations also have increased risk of these maladies as they “Westernize” their diets to include more protein and fat and reduce their fiber and soy intake (Kao and P'Eng F 1995).
    Other studies also suggest that phytoestrogens may offer long-term protection against some cancers including breast, colon, prostate, liver, and leukemia. According to some animal studies, phytoestrogens (mostly those found in soy-based products) eaten as part of an adult diet can protect against some types of cancer and may even inhibit tumor growth. Another animal study found that young rats injected with genistein (a soy isoflavone) and then exposed to a cancer-causing agent later in life developed fewer mammary tumors and waited longer to develop them than the non-exposed rats (Lamartiniere et al.1998). Another study reported that infants on soy based infant formulas have improved cholesterol synthesis rates later in life (Setchell et al. 1997). This study supports the idea that phytoestrogens are bioactive and can have an effect in humans even at levels found in soy infant formulas.
    Gaining these possible benefits may involve more than just eating more soy products. Asians, for instance, have been eating these compounds for thousands of years and may have evolutionary adaptations that allow them to use phytoestrogens to their advantage. And, some plant and soy products contain other potential anti-cancer substances (such as protease inhibitors and antioxidants) that may be responsible for the proposed health benefits (Makela et al. 1995).
    Evaluating health effects of phytoestrogens is difficult and depends on numerous factors, including the kind and dose (amount) of phytoestrogens eaten and the age, gender, and health of the person.
    For instance, the very foods that interfere with the endocrine messaging centers during a baby's development may help protect against breast and prostate cancer in adults. Why? There is strong evidence that lifetime exposure to natural estrogens, such as estradiol, increases the risk of certain kinds of cancer, such as uterine cancer. Phytoestrogens may help reduce that risk because they may lower a person's lifetime exposure to natural estrogens by competing for estrogen receptor sites or changing the way natural estrogens are broken down. It is possible that these endocrine interferences can reduce a person's exposure to natural estrogens thus reducing the cancer risk in so called target tissues, mostly reproductive organs that respond to sex hormone signals.
    Some researchers are most concerned about exposure of unborn fetuses and infants to high levels of phytoestrogens since development is highly controlled by hormones of the endocrine system. Human epidemiology studies document adverse effects of genistein. One study found that women eating a vegetarian diet during pregnancy have male offspring with an increased incidence of hypospadias (a birth defect in boys where the penis opening is not located in the normal position at the tip of the penis), possibly due to high maternal levels of soy isoflavones (North and Golding 2000).
    Other studies show young adult men and women fed soy based formulas as infants had increased use of allergy medicines and women had longer menstrual bleeding and more discomfort during the menstrual cycle than their counterparts who were fed cow based formula (Goldman et al. 2001; Strom et al. 2001). This is remarkable considering the small sample size in that study (268 women in the cow based formula group and 128 in the soy based formula group). Therefore, the adverse effects of developmental exposure to genistein remain of particular concern.
    Phytoestrogens behave like hormones, although they are generally less potent. Like any hormone, too much or too little can alter hormone-dependent tissue functions. Taking too much of any hormone may not be good for humans or animals. Similarly, too many phytoestrogens, at the wrong time, may lead to adverse health effects. Experimental animal studies, such as those outlined, can help us define dietary levels that are safe and clarify the possible reproductive and developmental risks associated with phytoestrogens.
      Some scientists believe that plants make phytoestrogens as a defense mechanism to stop or limit predation by plant-eating animals (Ehrlich and Raven 1964; Guillette et al. 1995; Hughes 1988). Instead of protecting themselves with thistles or thorns or tasting bad, these plants use chemicals that affect the predatory animal's fertility.
    Although using estrogen-mimicking compounds for protection may sound far-fetched, it makes sense from an evolutionary stance. Many real-life examples support the theory that plants and animals change together, or co-evolve, over time.
    The explanation goes something like this: to avoid predation, plants produce compounds (phytoestrogens) that limit an herbivores reproduction. Thus, the predator's population decreases and more plants can prosper.
    But remember, because of genetic differences, not all species or individuals of a given species will react to the phytoestrogens in the same way. While some herbivores may show fertility problems, others may acquire resistance - like some insects are resistant to pesticides and some bacteria can survive antibiotics. Likewise, some humans may be more susceptible to the benefits and risks of phytoestrogens than others would be.
    http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/phytoestrogens.html
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  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytoestrogens
    According to a study by Canadian researchers about the content of nine common phytoestrogens in a Western diet, foods with the highest relative phytoestrogen content were nuts and oilseeds, followed by soy products, cereals and breads, legumes, meat products, and other processed foods that may contain soy, vegetables, fruits, alcoholic, and nonalcoholic beverages. Flax seed and other oilseeds contained the highest total phytoestrogen content, followed by soybeans and tofu.[14] The highest concentrations of isoflavones are found in soybeans and soybean products followed by legumes, whereas lignans are the primary source of phytoestrogens found in nuts and oilseeds (e.g. flax) and also found in cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
    Phytoestrogen content varies in different foods, and may vary significantly within the same group of foods (e.g. soy beverages, tofu) depending on processing mechanisms and type of soybean used.[15] Legumes (in particular soybeans), whole grain cereals, and some seeds are high in phytoestrogens. A more comprehensive list of foods known to contain phytoestrogens includes: soybeans, tofu, tempeh, soy beverages, linseed (flax), sesame seeds, wheatberries, fenugreek, oats, barley, dried beans, lentils, yams, rice, alfalfa, mung beans,apples, carrots, pomegranates,[16] wheat germ, rice bran, soy linseed bread, ginseng, hops[17], bourbon, beer[18], fennel and anise.[19]
    An epidemiological study of women in the United States found that the dietary intake of phytoestrogens in healthy post-menopausal Caucasian women is less than one milligram daily.[20]
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  • http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/04babyhealth.htm
    Phytoestrogens & Your Baby
    Don't doubt it - phytoestrogens are bad for your baby.
    Why expose your baby?
    Many parents that fed soy formulas in the 1960's did so after receiving the advice that they were 'better than breast milk'.  Had they known that these products contained phytoestrogens, compounds that are now known to cause thyroid disorders, behavioural and developmental disorders and cancer they would not have even contemplated the use of what was, in hindsight, an experimental product.
    Most parents feeding soy formulas still have absolutely no idea that they contain these potent endocrine disrupting compounds, and by not disclosing the presence of phytoestrogens in their products, soy formula manufacturers are in violation of the WHO code of marketing breast-milk substitutes.  For a review on the health concerns raised about soy infant formula, read the Food Commission Briefing Paper written by Dr Mike Fitzpatrick and Sue Dibb.The message from Soy Online Service is simple.   Breast is best, everything else is greatly inferior.  If your child is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy protein, there are alternatives to soy.  Soy Online Service advice is do not feed a soy formula under any circumstances.  Why?   Despite knowing for years about the toxic effects of phytoestrogens, soy formula manufacturers have not acted to remove them from their products.  Infants fed soy formulas are still being exposed to unacceptably high levels of phytoestrogens.
    And why, when the evidence is plain are regulators not doing more to reduce the risk of exposing developing infants to these potent endocrine disruptors?
    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently stated that a number of studies are currently addressing the soy-formula/phytoestrogen issue. But this gives precious little direction or peace of mind to those that are currently feeding, or have been fed, a soy formula. So when and how is the phytoestrogen issue likely to be resolved? In reality it could be years before science provides the answers, and perhaps those answers will never come. But if bodies such as the AAP don't know what to make of phytoestrogens, and a real risk is recognised, then the only decision that can be made is a precautionary one.
    This is the essence of the ‘precautionary principle’, that is, a bona fide risk of harm that lacks some degree of scientific certainty should not prevent regulators from acting to protect those who are at risk of that harm.
    In this instance the precautionary principle would dictate that:
    until phytoestrogens are proven to be safe for infants they should be removed from soy formulas.
    soy formula manufacturers should bear the burden of proving the safety of phytoestrogens.
    The fact is that there is strong evidence of real harm being caused to soy formula fed infants by phytoestrogens leaves little room for debate on whether the precautionary principle should apply in this case.
    The only ones likely to strongly disagree with the precautionary approach are soy formula manufacturers. In February 1998 the Infant Formula Council issued a statement on phytoestrogens. Like previous statements from infant formula manufacturers, their release was notable for its dismissal of any possible concern and its total failure to address the real issues.
    The Infant Formula Council argument began by announcing that studies on infants fed soy formulas ‘have not indicated any evidence of harmful effect’. This statement is nonsense because there have been no studies that have specifically investigated the potential harmful effects that phytoestrogens might have on infants.
    This statement is also incorrect. Although there have been no direct investigations of the potential harmful effects of phytoestrogens on infants, other studies provide strong evidence that phytoestrogens in soy formulas do harm infants.
    Firstly, the consumption of soy-based formulas was associated with an increased occurrence of premature thelarche in Puerto Rico. In 1982 Pediatric endocrinologists in Puerto Rico reported on an increase in the incidence of breast development in girls younger than eight years of age. Of the 552 diagnosed cases reported between 1978 and 1982, a representative group of 130 were studied in an attempt to identify possible factors that might have contributed to what was considered an epidemic of premature thelarche.
    Approximately 68 percent of the cases (85 out of 130) studied experienced the onset of thelarche before they were 18 months old. In these most overt cases, the investigators found a positive statistical association between premature thelarche and the consumption of soy formulas (22 cases), various meat products (10 cases) and a maternal history of ovarian cysts (16 cases).
    Despite the probability that phytoestrogens in soy formulas were culpable in the Puerto Rico outbreak and the fact that mounting evidence that the early onset of puberty is increasing in the US (at the same time as soy formula sales reach record levels), there have been no studies to further investigate the link between soy formulas and premature thelarche.
    What are the long term risks associated with premature thelarche? There is still debate over whether or not premature thelarche progresses to precocious puberty, but there is evidence from several studies that shows that it does increase the chance of early menarche. A higher incidence of ovarian cysts has also been found in girls that develop breasts at an early age. The earlier the onset of menarche, the greater the lifetime risk of breast cancer, and the early incidence of ovarian cysts is an established risk factor in the later development of ovarian cancer. One can only wonder why the Infant Formula Council don’t consider the Puerto Rico cases of premature thelarche as evidence of harm.
    Secondly, like many endocrine disruptors, the soy phytoestrogens can cause thyroid dysfunction in humans. Reports from the late 1950s and early 1960s found that infants fed soy-flour formulas developed goitre, although the goitrogenic factors were not isolated at that time. More recent reports have further identified the actual toxicity of soy to the thyroid and mechanistic investigations have determined that the anti-thyroid factors in soy are the phytoestrogens.
    Little doubt can remain that the goitre in infants fed soy formulas was caused by the phytoestrogens. Claims that phytoestrogens have had no effect on the infant endocrine system just don’t wash, unless of course the thyroid is no longer part of the endocrine system. If further evidence is needed that there is genuine cause for concern then it should be noted that malignant goitre has also occurred in experimental animals fed soy even when iodine is present in their diets and there is clear potential for soy isoflavones to cause a range of thyroid disorders in iodine sufficient humans.
    It is possible, but unlikely, that the Infant Formula Council are not aware that phytoestrogens cause goitre. The soy industry has known that soy contains goitrogenic agents for over 60 years and for more than 40 years it has been known that these agents are also present in soy formulas. The cases of goitre that were reported in soy formula fed infants in the late 1950's ceased when manufacturers added more iodine to their products. But is the simple addition of more iodine to soy formulas an appropriate way in which to counteract the goitrogenic and anti-thyroid effects of the phytoestrogens?
    To answer that question one must understand how the soy phytoestrogens (isoflavones) act on the thyroid. Isoflavonoid, and the related flavonoid, compounds are well known goitrogens and anti-thyroid agents. They typically act against the thyroid by inhibition of thyroid peroxidase (TPO). The soy isoflavones are no exception. They are potent inhibitors of TPO, in fact they are more potent than either of the anti-thyroid drugs PTU or MMI. What is food for thought is that in vitro the isoflavones inhibit TPO catalysed reactions at concentrations that are comparable to those found in the plasma of human infants fed soy formulas.
    The fact is that soy formula fed infants appear to be at real risk of long term thyroid damage. If you want to be sure your child will not be at risk of such harm then the message is simple; avoid soy formulas. And just in case you're told that there is no evidence that thyroid soy formulas increase the risk of thyroid disease, consider the fact that a preliminary report has found a significant association between feeding soy formulas and the development of autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD). Although the mechanism by which ATD may occur in infants fed soy formulas was not discussed by the authors, ATD is associated with exposure to estrogens.
    So far the only government agency to publicly acknowledge the potential of soy formulas to damage your baby's thyroid is the New Zealand Ministry of Health.  Why not write to your health agencies and ask them to warn parents of the dangers of soy formulas?
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  • Some organosulfur compounds derived from garlic and Some organosulfur compounds derived from the decomposition of allicin.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/garlic/
    Organosulfur Compounds from Garlic
    Two classes of organosulfur compounds are found in whole garlic cloves: (1) gamma-glutamylcysteines, and (2) cysteine sulfoxides. Allylcysteine sulfoxide (alliin) accounts for approximately 80% of the cysteine sulfoxides in garlic (1). When raw garlic cloves are crushed, chopped, or chewed, an enzyme known as alliinase is released. Alliinase catalyzes the formation of sulfenic acids from cysteine sulfoxides (figure 1). Sulfenic acids spontaneously react with each other to form unstable compounds called thiosulfinates. In the case of alliin, the resulting sulfenic acids react with each other to form a thiosulfinate known as allicin (half-life in crushed garlic at 23°C is 2.5 days). The formation of thiosulfinates is very rapid and has been found to be complete within 10-60 seconds of crushing garlic. Allicin breaks down in vitro to form a variety of fat-soluble organosulfur compounds (figure 2), including diallyl trisulfide (DATS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), and diallyl sulfide (DAS), or in the presence of oil or organic solvents, ajoene and vinyldithiins (2). Crushing garlic does not change its gamma-glutamylcysteine content. Water-soluble organosulfur compounds, such as S-allylcysteine, are formed from gamma-glutamylcysteines during long-term incubation of crushed garlic in aqueous solutions, as in the manufacture of aged garlic extracts (see Sources below). 
    Bioavailability and Metabolism
    Allicin-derived Compounds
    The absorption and metabolism of allicin and allicin-derived compounds are only partially understood (5). Although a number of biological activities have been attributed to various allicin-derived compounds, it is not yet clear which of these compounds or metabolites actually reach target tissues (1). Animal studies using radiolabeled compounds indicate that allicin or its breakdown products are absorbed intestinally (6, 7). However, allicin and allicin-derived compounds, including diallylsufides, ajoene, and vinyldithiins, have never been detected in human blood, urine, or stool, even after the consumption of up to 25 g of fresh garlic or 60 mg of pure allicin (1). These findings suggest that allicin and allicin-derived compounds are rapidly metabolized. The concentration of allyl methyl sulfide in the breath has been proposed as an indicator of the bioavailability of allicin and allicin-derived compounds (5). Human consumption of crushed garlic and equivalent amounts of allicin, DATS, DADS, ajoene, and allyl methyl sulfide resulted in similar increases in breath concentrations of allyl methyl sulfide, suggesting that allicin and allicin-derived compounds are metabolized to allyl methyl sulfide, a volatile compound that can be measured in exhaled air.
    Gamma-Glutamylcysteines and S-Allylcysteine
    Gamma-glutamylcysteines are thought to be absorbed intact and hydrolyzed to S-allylcysteine and S-1-propenylcysteine, since metabolites of these compounds have been measured in human urine after garlic consumption (8, 9). The consumption of aged garlic extract, a commercial garlic preparation that contains S-allylcysteine, has been found to increase plasma S-allylcysteine concentrations in humans (10, 11).
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    Allyl Sulfur Compounds from Garlic Modulate Aberrant Crypt Formation
    Epidemiologic studies found that increased intake of garlic, and/or its active constituents, is associated with reduced colorectal cancer (2–4). For example, results from the Iowa Women's Health Study, a prospective cohort study, found that the strongest association among fruits and vegetables for reduction of colon-cancer risk was for garlic consumption, with an 50% lower risk of distal colon cancer associated with high consumption (3). Additionally, a meta-analysis of data from 7 epidemiologic studies found an inverse association between raw and cooked garlic consumption and colorectal cancer risk (4). Although the mean intake of garlic per person in the United States is approximately 0.6 g/wk (3), intakes in areas of China may be as high as 20 g/d (5).
    Garlic has long been asserted to possess medicinal properties. Part of its distinction may be associated with sulfur, which can comprise 1% of its dry weight (6). Among the contributors of sulfur in garlic are the allyl sulfur components [e.g., diallyl disulfide (DADS),4 and S-allylcysteine (SAC)], which have been studied extensively for their cancer prevention capacity.
    http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/136/3/852S
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  • Disease Prevention
    Cardiovascular Disease
    Interest in garlic and its potential to prevent cardiovascular disease began with observations that people living near the Mediterranean had lower mortality from cardiovascular disease (62). Garlic is a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, but a number of characteristics of the “Mediterranean diet” have been proposed to explain its cardioprotective effects. Although few epidemiological studies have examined associations between garlic consumption and cardiovascular disease risk, numerous intervention trials have explored the effects of garlic supplementation on cardiovascular disease risk factors.
    Serum Lipid Profiles
    More than 40 randomized controlled trials have examined the effects of supplementation with various garlic preparations on serum lipid profiles in individuals with elevated and normal serum cholesterol levels (63). Although many of these trials had methodological limitations, the results of severalmeta-analyses indicate that garlic supplementation results in modest (6-11%) reductions in serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels compared to placebo (63-65). The most comprehensive meta-analysis to date found that the modest reductions in serum cholesterol levels, which were evident up to three months after starting supplementation, were no longer statistically significant after six months of supplementation (63). Several recent clinical trials have not found that the use of garlic supplements results in statistically or clinically significant improvements in serum lipid profiles when compared to a placebo (66-74). The most recent and largest trial included high doses of raw garlic and a garlic supplement with high allicin bioavailability. However, neither supplement had a significant effect on serum lipids after six months in individuals with moderate hypercholesterolemia(74). Hence, garlic consumption strongly appears to have no effect on serum lipids, except possibly in individuals with very high levels of LDL cholesterol.
    Platelet Aggregation
    Platelet aggregation is one of the first steps in the formation of blood clots that can occlude coronary or cerebral arteries, leading to myocardial infarction(heart attack) or ischemic stroke, respectively. Most randomized controlled trials have found that garlic supplementation results in significant reductions in measures of ex vivo platelet aggregation. Four out of five trials found that supplementation with dehydrated garlic or garlic oil macerates significantly decreased spontaneous platelet aggregation compared to placebo [reviewed in (63)]. More recently, supplementation with aged garlic extract inhibited ex vivo platelet aggregation induced by physiological activators in two separate trials (11, 75).
    Blood Pressure
    The majority of controlled clinical trials have not found that garlic supplementation significantly reduces systolic or diastolic blood pressure in people with normal or high blood pressure (63, 76). Only three out of 23 randomized controlled trials identified in a systematic review (63) reported statistically significant reductions in diastolic blood pressure (77-79), and only one reported a statistically significant reduction in systolic blood pressure(77). At present, there is little evidence to support the use of garlic supplementation to prevent or treat hypertension.
    Garlic and Atherosclerosis
    Two studies have attempted to assess the effect of garlic supplementation on the progression of atherosclerosis in humans. One study in Germany used ultrasound imaging to assess the effect of 900 mg/day of dehydrated garlic on the progression of atherosclerotic plaque in the carotid and femoral arteries (80). After four years, the increase in plaque volume was significantly greater in women taking the placebo than in women taking the garlic supplement, but there was no significant difference between men taking garlic or placebo (81). In a smaller pilot study, investigators measured coronary artery calcium using electron beam tomography to assess the effect of supplementation with aged garlic extract on the progression of atherosclerosis in 19 adults already taking HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) (82). After one year, increases in coronary calcium were significantly lower in those taking aged garlic extract (4 ml/day) than in those taking a placebo. Although coronary calcium scores are correlated with the severity of coronary atherosclerosis, the predictive value of this technique is still under investigation (83). Both studies were funded by companies that market garlic supplements.
    Summary: Cardiovascular Disease
    In summary, the results of randomized controlled trials suggest that garlic supplementation inhibits platelet aggregation and modestly improves serumlipid profiles when taken for three months. It is not yet known whether garlic supplementation can reduce atherosclerosis or prevent cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction or stroke. 
    Cancer
    Gastric Cancer
    In an area of China associated with low mortality from gastric (stomach) cancer, 82% of men and 74% of women reportedly consumed garlic at least three times weekly. In contrast, in an area of China known for its high mortality from gastric cancer, only 1% of men and women consumed garlic at least three times weekly (84). Three out of four case-control studies in Europe and Asia found that past garlic consumption was significantly lower in people diagnosed with gastric cancer than in cancer-free control groups (85-87). A meta-analysis that combined the results of case-control studies found that those with the highest garlic intakes had a risk of gastric cancer that was about 50% lower than those with low garlic intakes (88). In contrast, aprospective cohort study in the Netherlands found no association between the use of garlic supplements and gastric cancer risk (89). However, it is important to note that one study reported that the composition of sulfur compounds in various commercially available garlic supplements sold in Europe varied by more than 12-fold (90). More recently, a randomized,double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study in China found that supplementation with aged garlic extract and steam-distilled garlic oil for 7.3 years did not reduce the prevalence of precancerous gastric lesions or the incidence of gastric cancer (60). The amount of garlic compounds consumed as supplements is probably considerably lower than the amount consumed in garlic food. Thus, regular consumption of garlic food may be needed to observe any anti-cancer effects.
    Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer: Infection with some strains of H. pylori bacteria markedly increases the risk of gastric cancer. Although garlic preparations and organosulfur compounds have been found to inhibit the growth of H. pylori in the laboratory, there is little evidence that high garlic intakes or garlic supplementation can prevent or eradicate H. pyloriinfection in humans (91, 92). Higher intakes of garlic were not associated with a significantly lower prevalence of H. pylori infection in China or Turkey(93, 94). Moreover, clinical trials using garlic cloves (95), aged garlic extract(59), steam-distilled garlic oil (59, 96), garlic oil macerate (97), or garlic powder (98) have not found garlic supplementation to be effective in eradicating H. pylori infection in humans.
    Colorectal Cancer
    Three out of four case-control studies found that garlic intake was significantly lower in people diagnosed with colorectal cancer than in cancer-free control groups (99-101). In contrast, three prospective cohort studiesfound no association between garlic consumption and colorectal cancer risk(102-104). However, garlic consumption was generally low in these cohorts, and one study assessed only garlic supplement use (102). A meta-analysisthat combined the results of case-control and prospective studies found that the risk of colorectal cancer was about 30% lower in those with the highest garlic intakes compared to those with the lowest intakes (88). An analysis of data from case-control studies conducted in Italy and Switzerland found a similar 26% reduction in risk for those with the highest garlic intake compared to the lowest (105). Colorectal adenomas (polyps) are precancerous lesions. One case-control study of adults undergoing sigmoidoscopy found that those with colorectal adenomas consumed significantly less garlic than those in whom no colorectal adenomas were found (106). A small preliminary intervention trial in 37 patients with colorectal adenomas examined whether supplementation with aged garlic extract for 12 months affected adenoma size and recurrence. Both the number and size of adenomas were significantly reduced in patients given a high dose of aged garlic extract (2.4 ml/day) compared to those given a much lower dose (0.16 ml/day) (107, 108). Larger randomized controlled trials are needed to determine whether garlic or garlic extracts can substantially reduce adenoma recurrence.
    Summary: Cancer
    The results of epidemiological studies in human populations suggest that high intakes of garlic and other Allium vegetables may help protect against gastric and colorectal cancer, but evidence that high intakes of garlic can reduce the risk of other types of cancer in humans is limited and inconsistent(88, 109). Although garlic and organosulfur compounds have been found to inhibit the development of chemically-induced cancers in animal models of oral, esophageal, gastric, colon, uterine, breast, prostate (110) and skin cancer (51), it is not known whether garlic-derived organosulfur compounds can prevent or slow the development of cancer in humans.
    Sources
    Food Sources
    Allium vegetables, including garlic and onions, are the richest sources of organosulfur compounds in the human diet (109). To date, the majority of scientific research relating to the health effects of organosulfur compounds has focused on those derived from garlic. Fresh garlic cloves contain about 2-6 mg/g of gamma-glutamyl-S-allylcysteine (0.2-0.6% fresh weight) and 6-14 mg/g of alliin (0.6-1.4% fresh weight). Garlic cloves yield about 2,500-4,500 mcg of allicin per gram of fresh weight when crushed. One fresh garlic clove weighs 2-4 g (1).
    Effects of cooking
    The enzyme alliinase can be inactivated by heat. In one study, microwave cooking of unpeeled, uncrushed garlic totally destroyed alliinase enzyme activity (111). An in vitro study found that prolonged oven heating or boiling (i.e., 6 minutes or longer) suppressed the inhibitory effect of uncrushed and crushed garlic on platelet aggregation, but crushed garlic retained more antiaggregatory activity compared to uncrushed garlic (112). Administering raw garlic to rats significantly decreased the amount of DNA damage caused by a chemical carcinogen, but heating uncrushed garlic cloves for 60 seconds in a microwave oven or 45 minutes in a convection oven prior to administration blocked the protective effect of garlic (113). The protective effect of garlic against DNA damage can be partially conserved by crushing garlic and allowing it to stand for ten minutes prior to microwave heating for 60 seconds or by cutting the tops off garlic cloves and allowing them to stand for ten minutes before heating in a convection oven. Because organosulfur compounds derived from alliinase-catalyzed reactions appear to play a role in some of the biological effects of garlic, some scientists recommend that crushed or chopped garlic be allowed to “stand” for at least ten minutes prior to cooking (111).
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/garlic/
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  • http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/garlic/
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    The Chemistry Of Garlic Health Benefits Interview with © Professor Eric Block Ph.D.
    Passwater: We have known of garlic's health benefits for thousands of years, but recently I've noticed an increased interest in garlic research. Now that you and other scientists have elucidated the key aspects of the chemistry of garlic that help explain how garlic actually brings about these benefits, garlic is beginning to receive wider attention from nutritionists. Besides "folklore," what suggestions or evidence have we had that garlic has major health benefits?Block: Epidemiological and medical studies suggest that individuals regularly consuming garlic show a lower incidence of stomach cancer, have longer blood clotting times and show lower blood lipid levels (which indirectly translates into reduced risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease).Passwater: Do these people generally eat raw or cooked garlic, or both?Block: Garlic is generally processed in some way, such as by cooking, or is cut and mixed with salad oil. Some people do eat garlic raw although this is not recommended.Passwater: You don't recommend eating raw garlic?Block: Not by itself. Raw garlic can be very irritating and could injure the digestive tract.Passwater: Sulfur compounds tend to be very fragile and volatile. Do many of the beneficial garlic sulfur compounds survive cooking?Block: Some do and some don't. In point of fact, cooking can convert the more fragile sulfur compounds into other sulfur compounds which are also beneficial and at the same time are a bit more robust.Passwater: Okay, let's talk about the sulfur compounds present in garlic and what happens to them.Block: Sulfur compounds from fresh garlic can be divided into five categories:l. The stable, odorless derivatives of the natural, sulfur-rich amino acid known as cysteine, found in unbroken garlic cloves and bulbs. Alliin (pronounced al-lean) is an example of this type of compound.
    2. Compounds with a very brief existence called intermediates (the chemical equivalents of shooting stars), formed when we cut, crush, or chop garlic cloves thereby freeing an enzyme (allinase is the name of the garlic enzyme), which acts on the cysteine compounds such as alliin. We know little about the intermediates for they disappear in a fraction of a second after being formed and can never be stored even at low temperatures.
    3. The isolable but none-the-less unstable and reactive compounds having a typical fresh garlic aroma and taste, formed by very rapid joining together of intermediates and found both in garlic juice as well as in the air above chopped garlic. Allicin, (pronounced "alice-in") is a well known example of compounds of this type. Actually our recent research has shown that as many as nine "chemical cousins" of allicin are also formed when garlic is cut. These other compounds also have a typical garlic aroma and taste. While allicin and its "cousins" can be prepared in pure form and studied in the research laboratory, they are termed "unstable compounds" meaning that at room temperature they have a very limited shelf life (a few hours) and cannot be stored without using special low temperature refrigerators.
    4. More stable products are formed when allicin and its "cousins" stand at room temperature for a few hours or days. A good example of this situation is macerate of garlic, a product formed when garlic is chopped ("macerated") with salad oil or other edible oils. Macerate of garlic is a rich source of "naturally-formed" garlic-derived compounds having the scientific names ajoene, methyl ajoene, and dithiins. These products are stable enough to be stored at room temperature for more than a year, for example when dissolved in an edible oil.5. Materials prepared by heating garlic in boiling water and condensing (collecting) the steam as it becomes a vapor, a technique known as steam distillation. The product is termed the distilled oil of garlic. The scientific name for the major component of distilled oil of garlic is diallyl disulfide. It has a strong, slightly medicinal, "artificial" smell of garlic. Distilled garlic oil is used as a food flavoring agent.In summary, when we cut or crush fresh garlic, we release an enzyme called allinase which rapidly converts odorless alliin to allicin, the latter having the typical odor and taste of fresh garlic. Allicin is unstable and rapidly reverts to ajoene (pronounced ah-hoe-ene) and dithiins (pronounced di-thigh-eins) in the presence of edible oils (e.g. macerates) or to diallyl disulfide on standing or heating in water. I explain more about the sulfur compounds in garlic in my article in "Scientific American (March l985, pages ll4-ll9).Passwater: Are you saying that it is not the alliin and allicin themselves that are important, but compounds that are formed from these compounds, either in the body or by certain types of cooking?Block: If by "important" you mean "having a positive health benefit" the answer to that question is still actively being sought by researchers. There seem to be health benefits associated with most of the sulfur-rich components of garlic following its normal use in cooking and consumption. For example, I've already mentioned that ajoene and dithiins are naturally formed when garlic is macerated with various edible food oils.Passwater: You mentioned "ajoenes". I had seen several recent articles describing their benefits, but I was not familiar with them. In fact, I didn't even remember ever studying "ajoenes," and they didn't seem to fit into standard terminology, so I had to check the Merck Index for details.Block: Don't feel too bad. I discovered them in 1984 and named them in honor of my collaborators in this research from Venezuela. "Ajo" is the Spanish word for garlic. I'm quite proud that ajoene has been included in the latest edition of the Merck Index. By the way, alliin and allicin are derived from the botanical Latin name for garlic, Allium sativum (pronouncedal-e-um sa-ti-vum).Passwater: Okay, I feel better! How many papers have been published about ajoenes since you discovered and named them?Block: I have seen more than a dozen scientific papers from laboratories around the world dealing with medical benefits of ajoene. I have also seen quite a few papers dealing with ajoene analysis and occurrence. These latter papers indicate that macerated garlic is the only form of garlic where significant quantities of ajoenes and dithiins have ever been detected.Passwater: What health benefits do ajoenes provide?Block: Well as I said, ajoenes and dithiins are among the most active compounds formed from fresh garlic. Ajoenes have been shown to: possess antithrombotic (anticlotting) activity in human platelet suspensions [l-8]; possess antitumor activity[9]; display significant antifungal activity, inhibiting the growth of Aspergillus niger ,Candida albicans , Paracoccidioides-Brasiliensis , and Fusarium species [10-12]; inactivate human gastric lipase, a sulfhydryl enzyme involved in the digestion and adsorption of dietary fats [13]; function as antioxidants by inhibiting the interactions of leukocytes which mediate release of superoxide anion [14].In one interesting study, administration of ajoene to dogs under extracorporeal circulation (as used in open heart surgery) prevents the thrombocytopenia induced by contact of blood with artificial surfaces. In this same study, ajoene showed excellent activity in preventing loss of platelets and in increasing rate of restoration of platelet clotting activity [1-5].Exciting advances have also been reported for dithiins as well. For example, A U. S. patent was recently awarded to a scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for the invention of a copolymer involving the same dithiin formed from garlic for an "antithrombogenic and antibiotic composition for use as a coating for artificial prostheses and implants which remain in contact with blood" [15]. Thus, basic research on garlic chemistry has led to the development of a new type of plastic in which a stable garlic-derived anticlotting and antibiotic agent provides unique properties of potential use in heart valves, artificial blood vessels and other implant devices.Passwater: Are the ajoenes and dithiins the only garlic components that are actively being studied for possible protection against heart disease?Block: As far as I am aware.Passwater: Now, when we are talking about the health benefits from garlic and garlic's sulfur-containing compounds, is it your view that we are not talking about sulfur-compound nutriture, such as with the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine or methionine, but with the "herbal" properties of garlic which are health benefits beyond those of nutrients?Block: I would like to respond with a qualified yes. In addition to those compounds formed from garlic such as allicin and ajoene, there are various cysteine derivatives from garlic related to alliin containing allyl groups attached to cysteine sulfur which may also have health benefits. However to be of value, these allylic compounds wouLd have to be present in significant quantities in what is consumed.Passwater: You mentioned that we get the most beneficial compounds from cooked garlic or garlic prepared with edible oils and not directly from raw garlic -- what about garlic supplements?Block: My basic research through the years has focused on fresh garlic and compounds such as ajoene directly derived from fresh garlic and on the biological activity of pure samples of ajoene and related compounds. I myself have not been involved in the preparation or evaluation of different commercial garlic supplements so I can only answer your question based on what I have read in the open literature.There are quite a variety of different garlic products on the market. There is certainly a need for independent testing and evaluation of these different products and careful examination of their claims. Some products talk about allicin content, allicin potential or allicin yield. Since there is no way to stabilize allicin itself, any claims concerning actual allicin content in a product cannot be correct. Intact garlic cloves themselves do not contain allicin either, although upon cutting or crushing under ordinary circumstances allicin is formed. Thus one can talk about the allicin potential or allicin yield from garlic cloves. If garlic cloves are frozen in dry ice, pulverized with acetone in the absence of water, and the powder is then briefly heated with alcohol, not a trace of allicin can be detected following addition of water because these conditions destroy or "denature" the allinase enzyme which is required for allicin production.These very conditions were employed 50 years ago by Chester Cavallito, the discoverer of allicin, to demonstrate that an active enzyme is a requirement for allicin formation. In this particular case the allicin potential is unfulfilled because the enzyme has been denatured.With a garlic supplement claiming allicin potential, I would assume one is talking about some type of preparation in which water has been removed from garlic and the resulting product then pulverized and encapsulated. I further assume that when the contents of the capsule are exposed to water, allicin is produced. The critical question is whether or not the required enzyme is destroyed during the actual digestive process at the time when the coating of the capsule dissolves. Just as hot alcohol can denature the sensitive allinase enzyme so too can the strong acid present in our stomach.While allicin itself is highly unstable and can only be produced when both the precursor alliin and the enzyme allinase are present under non-denaturing conditions, the situation with ajoene-containing products such as garlic macerates is somewhat different. Since ajoene and dithiins are already present in the macerate, no sensitive enzyme is required. To the best of my knowledge the only commercial products which have been unequivocally shown to contain significant quantities of ajoene and dithiins are macerates of garlic.Passwater: Is there a direct relationship between the amount of beneficial garlic compounds in your system and being able to detect their presence on your breath.Block: Garlic breath has been a matter of concern since garlic was first cultivated and used as a seasoning thousands of years ago. The fact is that the human nose is extraordinarily sensitive to the very types of sulfur compounds formed when we digest garlic and its derived products such as allicin, ajoene, and diallyl disulfide. When the sulfur compounds are digested they are broken down into simpler sulfur compounds, a portion of which enters the bloodstream and is then exhaled from the lungs or eliminated through our pores when we sweat. Since the human nose can detect less than one part of these sulfur compounds in one billion parts of exhaled air , it doesn't require much garlic or garlic compounds to give us garlic breath. It has even been reported that babies born to mothers who consumed garlic prior to giving birth have garlic breath. Not that the babies complain! In fact other studies suggest that babies actually prefer slightly garlicky mother's milk. If we can assume that it is the sulfur compounds of garlic that are primarily responsible for its health benefit, then it seems illogical to expect benefit from a product where not a trace of garlic breath can be detected after consumption.Passwater: What do you see happening with garlic research? What is your next garlic or sulfur chemistry problem to solve?Block: At the present time the use of garlic in cooking and, in processed form, by the food industry constitutes the largest market for the "stinking rose." There is still a need for better analytical methods to accurately and rapidly measure the amounts of allicin and related compounds in freshly cut garlic and to understand the fate of garlic flavorants under a variety of processing or culinary conditions. At the same time we need to better understand the biological properties of the various types of sulfur compounds formed from garlic and, in particular, to rigorously establish the effect of these different compounds on human health and in the prevention of disease. Since there is great interest in garlic and its health benefits I believe we will be seeing significant and exciting progress in all of these areas during the next few years.http://www.healthy.net/scr/interview.aspx?Id=173
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  • http://nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/phytochemicals
    Read more at Suite101: Phytochemicals: Read about These Bioactive Chemical Compounds http://nutrition.suite101.com/article.cfm/phytochemicals#ixzz0wul9eMp6
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  • Ten (10) Herbal Medicines in the PhilippinesApproved by the Department of Health (DOH)
     
    These is the list of the ten (10) medicinal plants that the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) through its "Traditional Health Program" have endorsed. All ten (10) herbs have been thoroughly tested and have been clinically proven to have medicinal value in the relief and treatment of various aliments:1. Akapulko (Cassia alata) - also known as "bayabas-bayabasan" and "ringworm bush" in English, this herbal medicine is used to treat ringworms and skin fungal infections.2. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia) - known as "bitter gourd" or "bitter melon" in English, it most known as a treatment of diabetes (diabetes mellitus), for the non-insulin dependent patients.3. Bawang (Allium sativum) - popularly known as "garlic", it mainly reduces cholesterol in the blood and hence, helps control blood pressure.4. Bayabas (Psidium guajava) - "guava" in English. It is primarily used as an antiseptic, to disinfect wounds. Also, it can be used as a mouth wash to treat tooth decay and gum infection.5. Lagundi (Vitex negundo) - known in English as the "5-leaved chaste tree". It's main use is for the relief of coughs and asthma.6. Niyog-niyogan (Quisqualis indica L.) - is a vine known as "Chinese honey suckle". It is effective in the elimination of intestinal worms, particularly the Ascaris and Trichina. Only the dried matured seeds are medicinal -crack and ingest the dried seeds two hours after eating (5 to 7 seeds for children & 8 to 10 seeds for adults). If one dose does not eliminate the worms, wait a week before repeating the dose.7. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)- English name: Blumea camphora. A diuretic that helps in the excretion of urinary stones. It can also be used as an edema.8. Tsaang Gubat (Ehretia microphylla Lam.) - Prepared like tea, this herbal medicine is effective in treating intestinal motility and also used as a mouth wash since the leaves of this shrub has high fluoride content.9. Ulasimang Bato | Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) - It is effective in fighting arthritis and gout. The leaves can be eaten fresh (about a cupful) as salad or like tea. For the decoction, boil a cup of clean chopped leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain, let cool and drink a cup after meals (3 times day).10. Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii) - commonly known as Peppermint, this vine is used as an analgesic to relive body aches and pain. It can be taken internally as a decoction or externally by pounding the leaves and applied directly on the afflicted area.
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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ql14I5W4xOs&feature=relmfu
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  • Phytochemicals+in+foods

    1. 1. PHYTOCHEMICALS IN FOODS Elisha Gay C. Hidalgo, RND
    2. 2. What are Phytochemicals? • Phytochemicals are chemicals found in plants. • They are chemical substances obtained from plants that are biologically active but not nutritive. • Phytochemicals (also called phytonutrients) are the powerhouse natural chemicals inside plants, which basically give the plants protection against disease and but which also have disease-preventing properties in humans too.
    3. 3. Phytochemical Evolution • These naturally occurring compounds are believed to protect plants from a variety of injurious agents, including insects and microbes, the oxygen they produce, and the UV light they capture and transform into the nutrients we need.
    4. 4. The Phytochemical Revolution • Since the 1970s, increasing numbers of studies are finding associations between the food people eat, their health, and their life expectancy. In the '70s, concerns focused on the role of dietary cholesterol in causing heart disease and cancer. • During the 1980s and 1990s, numerous laboratories began studying phytochemicals to "mine" plants for bioactive substances that might be used as medicines (nutriceuticals) or for other chemical applications. Many compounds are showing great promise as disease fighters in the body, boosting production or activities of enzymes, which then act by blocking carcinogens, suppressing malignant cells, or interfering with the processes that can cause heart disease and stroke.
    5. 5. The Phytochemical Revolution • Hundreds of studies from around the world have established that diets high in plant-based foods are associated with lower rates of cancer and heart disease, sometimes astonishingly so. • Phytochemical use comes with a caution sign, however. These compounds aren't always beneficial under all circumstances or in high doses. Certain biochemicals and vitamins, at least as provided in supplements, have been found to encourage the growth of cancer cells and their use is being discouraged in patients undergoing cancer treatments. • As they occur naturally in plant foods, phytochemicals promise to create an entirely new philosophy of "functional foods," eating not just to sustain minimal basic health but also eating to prevent disease. In the future, we may tailor our diets to include the foods that will best address our personal health problems and risks as well as maintain optimal health.
    6. 6. How do phytochemicals work? • Antioxidant - Most phytochemicals have antioxidant activity and protect our cells against oxidative damage and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Phytochemicals with antioxidant activity: allyl sulfides (onions, leeks, garlic), carotenoids (fruits, carrots), flavonoids (fruits, vegetables), polyphenols (tea, grapes). • Hormonal action - Isoflavones, found in soy, imitate human estrogens and help to reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis. • Stimulation of enzymes - Indoles, which are found in cabbages, stimulate enzymes that make the estrogen less effective and could reduce the risk for breast cancer. Other phytochemicals, which interfere with enzymes, are protease inhibitors (soy and beans), terpenes (citrus fruits and cherries).
    7. 7. How do phytochemicals work? • Interference with DNA replication - Saponins found in beans interfere with the replication of cell DNA, thereby preventing the multiplication of cancer cells. Capsaicin, found in hot peppers, protects DNA from carcinogens. • Anti-bacterial effect - The phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties. • Physical action - Some phytochemicals bind physically to cell walls thereby preventing the adhesion of pathogens to human cell walls. Proanthocyanidins are responsible for the anti-adhesion properties of cranberry. Consumption of cranberries will reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and will improve dental health.
    8. 8. SYNERGY: Phytochemicals work in groups • Most phytochemicals need to work with other phytochemicals to produce the desired effect on health. • The optimal combination for different types of phytochemicals is not known yet.
    9. 9. Why Is There No RDA for Phytochemicals? • Phytochemicals interact with each other in the body to produce a synergistic effect that is greater than the sum of the effect of individual phytochemicals. • Phytochemicals interact with macronutrients and vitamins and minerals. • Phytochemicals can act in different ways under different circumstances in the body. • For these reasons, no RDA for Phytochemicals can safely be established for any life stage group.
    10. 10. The Most Common Phytochemicals • CAROTENOIDS • FLAVONOIDS • PHENOLIC ACIDS • PHYTOESTROGENS • ORGANOSULFUR COMPOUNDS
    11. 11. CAROTENOIDS: What are They?
    12. 12. • Bioactive food components in plants; found in the colorful section of the plant. • CAROTENOIDS MEASURED IN HUMANS: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and beta-cryptoxanthin. • Helps prevent cancer • “Eat by the rainbow”
    13. 13. • A pigment is any substance that absorbs light. The main pigments responsible for the initiation of photosynthesis are chlorophylls and carotenoids which absorb light in different regions of the visible spectrum. And these pigments, as you already know are embedded in the thylakoid membranes of the chloroplasts.
    14. 14. • Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red pigments synthesized by plants. The most common carotenoids in North American diets are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. • Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted by the body to retinol (vitamin A). Lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene have no vitamin A activity. • At present, it is unclear whether the biological effects of carotenoids in humans are related to their antioxidant activity or other non-antioxidant activities. • Although the results of epidemiological studies suggest that diets high in carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers, high-dose beta-carotene supplements did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases or cancers in large randomized controlled trials. • Two randomized controlled trials found that high-dose beta-carotene supplements increased the risk of lung cancer in smokers and former asbestos workers. • Several epidemiological studies found that men with high intakes of lycopene from tomatoes and tomato products were less likely to develop prostate cancer than men with low intakes, but it is not known whether lycopene supplements will decrease the incidence or severity of prostate cancer. • Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retinaand lens of the eye. The results of epidemiological studies suggest that diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may help slow the development of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, but it is not known whether lutein and zeaxanthin supplements will slow the development of these age-related eye diseases.
    15. 15. Chemical Structure of some Carotenoids
    16. 16. Health Claims: Diets with foods rich in these phytochemicals may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers (e.g. prostate), and age-related eye diseases ( cataracts, macular degeneration).
    17. 17. Food Sources • Red, orange and deep-green vegetables and fruits such as carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach,pumpkin and tomatoes.
    18. 18. Cooking Tips: • Carotenoids are best absorbed with fat in a meal. Chopping, puréeing, and cooking carotenoid-containing vegetables in oil generally increases the bioavailability of the carotenoids they contain.
    19. 19. Raw foods with carotenoids, is this more beneficial than cooked?
    20. 20. FLAVONOIDS: In the News
    21. 21. Flavonoids • Flavonoids are a large family of polyphenolic compounds synthesized by plants. • Many of the biological effects of flavonoids appear to be related to their ability to modulate cell-signaling pathways, rather than their antioxidant activity. It is not yet clear how flavonoid consumption affects neurodegenerative disease risk in humans. • includes flavones, flavonols, catechins, anthocyanidins, and isoflavonoids.
    22. 22. Basic Chemical Structure of a Flavonoid: Molecular structure of theflavone backbone (2- phenyl-1,4-benzopyrone)
    23. 23. Health Claims: Diets with foods rich in these phytochemicals may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer , possibly because of reduced inflammation, blood clotting, and blood pressure, and increased detoxification of carcinogens or reduction in replication of cancerous cells.
    24. 24. Food Sources • Berries, black and green tea, chocolate, purple grapes and juice, citrus fruits, olives, soybeans and soy products, whole wheat
    25. 25. Flavonoid Subclass Dietary Flavonoids Some Common Food Sources Anthocyanidins Cyanidin, Delphinidin, Malvidin, Pelargonidin, Peonidin, Petunidin Red, blue, and purple berries; red and purple grapes; red wine Flavanols Monomers (Catechins): Catechin, Epicatechin, Epigallocatechin Epicatechin gallate, Epigallocatechin gallateDimers and Polymers: Theaflavins, Thearubigins, Proanthocyanidins Catechins: Teas (particularly green and white), chocolate, grapes, berries, apples Theaflavins, Thearubigins: Teas (particularly black and oolong) Proanthocyanidins: Chocolate, apples, berries, red grapes, red wine
    26. 26. Flavonoid Subclass Dietary Flavonoids Some Common Food Sources Flavanones Hesperetin, Naringenin, Eriodictyol Citrus fruits and juices, e.g., oranges, grapefruits, lemons Flavonols Quercetin, Kaempferol, Myricetin, Isorhamnetin Widely distributed: yellow onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, apples, berries, teas Flavones Apigenin, Luteolin Parsley, thyme, celery, hot peppers, Isoflavones Daidzein, Genistein, Glycitein Soybeans, soy foods, legumes
    27. 27. Nutrient Interactions: • Nonheme Iron Flavonoids can bind nonheme iron, inhibiting its intestinal absorption. Nonheme iron is the principal form of iron in plant foods, dairy products, and iron supplements. The consumption of one cup of tea or cocoa with a meal has been found to decrease the absorption of nonheme iron in that meal by about 70% . To maximize iron absorption from a meal or iron supplements, flavonoid-rich beverages or flavonoid supplements should not be taken at the same time. • Vitamin C Studies in cell culture indicate that a number of flavonoids inhibit the transport of vitamin C into cells, and supplementation of rats with quercetin and vitamin C decreased the intestinal absorption of vitamin C. More research is needed to determine the significance of these findings in humans.
    28. 28. Phenolic Acids • Phenolic acids are plant metabolites widely spread throughout the plant kingdom. Recent interest in phenolic acids stems from their potential protective role, through ingestion of fruits and vegetables, against oxidative damage diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancers). Phenolic compounds are essential for the growth and reproduction of plants, and are produced as a response for defending injured plants against pathogens. The importance of antioxidant activities of phenolic compounds and their possible usage in processed foods as a natural antioxidant have reached a new high in recent years. • Includes ellagic acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, curcumin
    29. 29. Chemical Structure Phenol - the simplest of the phenols. Caffeic acid
    30. 30. Health Claims: Phenolic acids have mild anti-inflammatory properties and are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cancer and injury to blood vessels. Similar to flavonoids.
    31. 31. Food Sources: Tea, Coffee, Berries, Fruits (mangoes, grapes, strawberries, apples, mangoes), potatoes, mustard, oats and soy
    32. 32. Reminder: Phenolic acids found in coffee act as antioxidants and are good. Studies show a cup or two of coffee is beneficial but too much caffeine may not be healthy.
    33. 33. PHYTOESTROGENS • Their name comes from phyto = plant and estrogen = estrus (period of fertility for female mammals) + gen = to generate. • plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity; • These compounds in plants are an important part of their defense system, mainly against fungi. • Includes: genistein, diadzein, and lignans.
    34. 34. Chemical Structure
    35. 35. Health Claims: • Foods rich in these phytochemicals may provide benefits to bones and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers of the reproductive tissues (e.g. breast, prostate)
    36. 36. Food Sources: • Nuts, oilseeds, soy and soy products, cereals and breads, legumes, flaxseed and whole grains.
    37. 37. Phytoestrogens and your Baby • Some researchers are most concerned about exposure of unborn fetuses and infants to high levels of phytoestrogens since development is highly controlled by hormones of the endocrine system. One study found that women eating a vegetarian diet during pregnancy have male offspring with an increased incidence of hypospadias (a birth defect in boys where the penis opening is not located in the normal position at the tip of the penis), possibly due to high maternal levels of soy isoflavones (North and Golding 2000). • Other studies show young adult men and women fed soy based formulas as infants had increased use of allergy medicines and women had longer menstrual bleeding and more discomfort during the menstrual cycle than their counterparts who were fed cow based formula (Goldman et al. 2001; Strom et al. 2001). • Some reviews express the opinion that more research is needed to answer the question of what effect phytoestrogens may have on infants, but their authors did not find any adverse effects. Multiple studies conclude there are no adverse effects in human growth, development, or reproduction as a result of the consumption of soy-based infant formula compared to conventional cow-milk formula.[While it should be noted that all infant formulas are inferior to human milk, soy formula presents no more risk than cow-milk formula.
    38. 38. ORGANOSULFUR COMPOUNDS • A member of a class of organic compounds with any of several dozen functional groups containing sulfur (S). • Includes allylic sulfur compounds, indoles, isothiocyanates, cysteine sulfoxides and gamma-glutamylcysteines.
    39. 39. Chemical Structure Some organosulfur compounds derived from garlic Some organosulfur compounds derived from the decomposition of allicin
    40. 40. Health Claims: • Foods rich in these compounds may protect against a wide variety of cancer. • Reduce risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
    41. 41. Food Sources: • Garlic, leeks, onions, chives, cruciferous vegetables, horseradish, mustard greens
    42. 42. Garlic Cooking Tips: • Crushing or chopping garlic releases an enzyme called alliinase that catalyzes the formation of allicin. Allicin rapidly breaks down to form a variety of organosulfur compounds. • Since cooking can inactivate alliinase, some scientists recommend letting garlic stand for ten minutes after chopping or crushing before cooking it
    43. 43. Good News for Garlic Lovers
    44. 44. What to Do in Order to Get as Much Phytochemicals as Possible • Take vegetables every day, either in salad or steamed and sautéed form. To get the optimal amount of phytochemicals, try several different types of vegetables. Eat fresh food. Don’t buy vegetables just to eat it three weeks later. Eat fruits regularly. There are also drinks and unsweetened fruit jams that contain high amounts of phytochemicals. Blueberries and blackberries contain phytochemicals as well. • Try to use olive oil, along with a few drops of lemon, to dress salads.
    45. 45. Follow the 5 a day recommendation • That is around 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day; • Or 2-3 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables per day as per the Food Pyramid Guide for Filipinos
    46. 46. The 10 plant foods recommended by the DOH
    47. 47. To Summarize:

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