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Plant Secondary Metabolites - Occurence, Structure and Role in the Human Diet

Edited by Alan Crozier, Mike Clifford and Hiroshi Ashihara 
Blackwell  November 2006  



Hardback  384 pp., 185 illu.  ISBN 9781405125093      £150.00
Plant secondary metabolites have been a fertile area of chemical investigation for many years, driving the development of both analytical chemistry and of new synthetic reactions and methodologies. The subject is multi-disciplinary with chemists, biochemists and plant scientists all contributing to our current understanding. In recent years there has been an upsurge in interest from other disciplines, related to the realisation that secondary metabolites are dietary components that may have a considerable impact on human health, and to the development of gene technology that permits modulation of the contents of desirable and undesirable components.

Plant Secondary Metabolites: Occurrence, Structure and Role in the Human Diet addresses this wider interest by covering the main groups of natural products from a chemical and biosynthetic perspective with illustrations of how genetic engineering can be applied to manipulate levels of secondary metabolites of economic value as well as those of potential importance in diet and health. These descriptive chapters are augmented by chapters showing where these products are found in the diet, how they are metabolised and reviewing the evidence for their beneficial bioactivity.

Contents

1 Phenols, Polyphenols and Tannins: An Overview

    Introduction
    Classification of phenolic compounds
    Biosynthesis
    Databases
    References

2 Sulphur-Containing Compounds

    Introduction
    The glucosinolates-myrosinase system
    Chemical diversity of glucosinolates in dietary crucifers
    Biosynthesis
    Genetic factors affecting glucosinolate expression
    Environmental factors affecting glucosinolate expression
    Myrosinases and glucosinolate hydrolysis
    Hydrolytic Products
    Metabolism and detoxification of isothiocyanates
    The Alliin-alliinase system
    Biological activity of sulphur-containing compounds
    Anti-nutritional effects in livestock and humans.
    Beneficial effects of sulphur-containing compounds products in the human diet
    References
3 Terpenes

    Introduction
    The biosynthesis of IPP and DMAPP
    Enzymes of terpene biosynthesis
    Isoprenoid biosynthesis in the plastids
    Isoprenoid biosynthesis in the cytosol
    Terpenes in the environment and human health: future prospects
    References

4 Alkaloids

    Introduction
    Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids
    Tropane alkaloids
    Nicotine
    Terpenoid indole alkaloids
    Purine alkaloids
    Pyrrolizidine alkaloids
    Other alkaloids
    Metabolic engineering
    References

5 Polyacetylenes and Psoralens

    Introduction
    Acetylenes in common food plants
    Distribution and biosynthesis
    Psoralens in common food plants
    Perspectives in relation to food safety
    References

6 Functions of the Human Intestinal Flora: The Use of Probiotics and Prebiotics

    Introduction
    Composition of the gut microflora
    Successional development and the gut microflora in old age
    Modulation of the gut microflora through dietary means
    In vitro and in vivo measurement of microbial activities
    Molecular methodologies for assessing microflora changes
    Assessing the impact of dietary change of the gut microflora - does it improve health, what are the likelihoods for success, biomarkers of success?
    Justification for the use of probiotics and prebiotics to modulate the gut flora composition
    References

7 Secondary Metabolites in Fruits, Vegetables, Beverages and Other Plant-Based Dietary Components

    Introduction
    Dietary phytochemicalsVegetablesFruits
    Herbs and Spices
    Cereals
    Nuts
    Algae
    Beverages
    Databases
    References

8 Absorption and Metabolism of Plant Secondary Metabolites

    Introduction Flavonoids
    Hydroxycinnamic acids
    Gallic acid and ellagic acid
    Dihydrochalcones
    Betalains
    Glucosinolates
    Carotenoids
    Conclusions
    References
To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
Blackwell : alkaloids : biological conversion : fruit : nutrition, human : phenolics : plant science : probiotics : vegetables

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