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Crop Biotech Update

How Can Research on Plants Contribute to Promoting Human Health

June 3, 2011
Current focus on plants as source of food has always been associated with health and longevity. Nutritionists encourage eating plant-based foods because it promotes health and reduce the impact of chronic diseases. A paper published by Cathie Martin and colleagues from John Innes Centre in the UK, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Milan on How can research on plants contribute to promoting human health describes how the science of plant biochemistry can make significant contributions to human health.

Identification and measurement of the many metabolites in plant-based food known to promote health (phytonutrients) is an important contribution of plant biochemistry. Plant geneticist and metabolic engineers can then be guided to design crops with increased and improved nutritional content. Understanding the plant science on phytonutrients can also help comprehend the diet-health relationship as well as contribute information into which foods reduce risks of chronic diseases and how these foods work to impact human health. 

The abstract of the paper published in Plant Cell can be viewed at  http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2011/05/16/tpc.111.083279.abstract . The full paper can be downloaded at http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2011/05/16/tpc.111.083279.full.pdf+html.