Flashcards in Phytonutrients and phytochemistry Deck (72)
What are phytonutrients?
The plant makes chemicals in reaction to it's environment.
What may phytochemicals be?
1. medicines for the plant itself.
2.protection from animal predation.
3. communication between plants, animals and bacteria.
4. chemicals produced as part of plant growth cycle.
How do phytonutrients work?
1. function as antioxidants
2. regulate the cell cycle
3. increase detoxification of carinogenic compounds
4. reduce DNA damage
5. mimic or interact with hormones
Are all phytochemicals helpful? Why?
No. Some phytochemicals are dangerous or toxic to the body. E.g. many alkaloid class of phytochemicals are the basis for pharmaceutical drugs (morphine).
Phytates (found in beans, grains and legumes) can prevent the absorption of which minerals?
Identify 4 differences in phytochemicals in plants.
1. soil and water conditions
2. humans and other animals around them
4. bacteria, virus and pathogens
What can knowing the polarity and solubility help us find out about phytochemicals?
The best extraction methods for ingesting or preserving.
Phenols and polyphenols are also known as?
What do the phenolic compounds include?
What are the 6 major subgroups of flavonoids?
What are flavonoids and carotenes together responsible for?
The colouring of fruits, vegetables and herbs.
What actions do flavonoids contain?
What is epicatechin (flavonoid)?
A strong antioxidant, has insulin mimic action and improves heart health.
Name 2 health benefits of catechins.
reduce damage to the brain after a stroke (in mice)
enhances muscle fatigue resistance (in mice)
What are the health benefits of quercetin?
cancer (breast, colon, leaukaemia)
antioxidant and CVD prevention (reduced oxidised LDL)
athletes (improves lean body mass)
immune (inhibits histamine)
What is kaemferol?
A flavonoid. A yellow coloured powder and a strong antioxidant
Name two health benefits of kaemferol.
1. Prevents arteriosclerosis by inhibiting the oxidation of LDL and formation of platelets in the blood.
2. Chemopreventative agent - inhibits formation of cancer cells.
Name the flavonoid in grapefruit? What are the health benefits of grapefruit?
cholesterol lowering activity
reduces retinal disease linked to diabetes.
What are the contraindications of kaemferol?
Can interfere with certain drug metabolism including calcium channel blockers, sedatives, anti-depressants, warfarin, caffeine and oestrogen.
What is another name given to isolfavones and why?
Phytoestrogens because they have some oestrogen activity.
The richest food source of isoflavones is?
soybeans especially soy protein (tofu)
The biological effects of soy isofavones are strongly influenced by their metabolism which is strongly influenced by what?
Dependent on the activity of bacteria that colonize the human intestine.
Name 2 benefits of soy isoflavones and other phytoestrogens?
Oestrogenic effects in some tissues could help maintain bone density (osteoporosis)and improve blood lipid profiles (CVD).
Soy protein isolates prepared by ? tends to retain the isoflavones?
aqueous wash processes
What is the western equivalent of phytoestrogens instead of soy?
Does flaxseed oil provide lignans?
No only the seed.
What are the health benefits of lignans (in particular flaxseed)?
might relieve constipation
lowers risk of lung cancer
slow proliferation of prostate epithelium
may lower blood glucose levels
What are proanthocyanidins?
Oligomeric flavonoids, mainly found in the skin of grapes. Gives it it's red, blue, purple colours.
What are the health benefits of proanthocyanidins?
cardio protective effect
stabilise collagen and elastin (anti-aging)
anti-allergic (inhibits enzymes that produce histamine)