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glossary:phytochemicals [2008/04/24 09:16]
Pat O'Connor created
glossary:phytochemicals [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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 +Phytochemicals are non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties. There are more than thousand known phytochemicals. It is well-known that plant produce these chemicals to protect itself but recent research demonstrate that they can protect humans against [[disease]]s. Some of the well-known phytochemicals are lycopene in tomatoes, isoflavones in soy and [[flavonoids]] in fruits. They are not essential [[nutrient]]s and are not required by the human body for sustaining life. 
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 +How do phytochemicals work?
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 +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).
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 +Hormonal action - Isoflavones,​ found in soy, imitate human estrogens and help to reduce menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.
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 +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 [[enzyme]]s,​ are protease inhibitors (soy and beans), terpenes (citrus fruits and cherries).
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 +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.
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 +Anti-bacterial effect - The phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties.
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 +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 [[infection]]s and will improve dental health.
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 +Courtesy Phytochemicals.info ​
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 +There is much disagreement about the use of phytochemicals for the treatment of [[:​lymphedema]]. ​ Clinical studies have given mixed reviews and/or have been soundly critized for the lack of control and weak methodology.
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 +Some phytochemicals even though shown to be slightly effective in [[:edema]] have shown to be toxic, usually to the [[liver]].
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 +Related Pages:
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 +[[http://​www.lymphedemapeople.com/​thesite/​lymphedema_benzopyrones_treatmen.htm|Benzopyrones and Flavonoids]]
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 +[[http://​www.lymphedemapeople.com/​thesite/​lymphedema_herbal_supplements.htm|Lymphedema Herbal Supplements]]
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 +[[http://​www.lymphedemapeople.com/​thesite/​lymphedema_and_homeopathy.htm|Homeopathic Treatment]]
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 +[[http://​www.lymphedemapeople.com/​phpBB2/​viewtopic.php?​t=482|Selenium,​ Lymphedema and Cancer – Update]]
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 +[[http://​www.lymphedemapeople.com/​phpBB2/​viewtopic.php?​t=66|How to be Safe with Complementary and Alternative Medicine]]
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 +[[http://​www.lymphedemapeople.com/​phpBB2/​viewtopic.php?​t=768|Coumarin powder/​ointment]]
  
glossary/phytochemicals.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)