The chapters that follow

Inner Peace Formula

Natural Dietary Supplements

Get Instant Access

The chapters in this book have been compiled to provide an in-depth focus on supplements and supplement ingredients of plant origin. In the first half of the book, authors from the United States and Europe provide contrasting perspectives on the history, use, regulation and sources of information about these products. In particular, this volume includes chapters written by European scientists who have focused their research on plant bioactive compounds long before the DSHEA legislation in the US

in 1994 or the establishment of the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) in 1989. These scientists present a comprehensive view of the earlier and current approaches to studying plant-derived compounds that are used as dietary supplements. They also have placed their research into the worldwide perspective of plant biodiversity, ecology and the increasingly politically fraught arena of genetically modified foods.

The European marketplace is characterized by Valerio Bombardelli in Chapter 2. Dr Bombardelli clearly describes the perspective of European countries where compounds derived from plants have a long tradition of use as medicines and have been regulated from distinctly different perspectives in different countries. Dr Bombardelli discusses the complexity of harmonization of regulations of supplements within Europe that has resulted from the historic variability of the approaches of the countries involved.

Drs Franco Vincieri and Antonella Riva describe the establishment and goals of the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP) in Chapter 3. Their chapter incorporates a list and description of the ESCOP monographs. These monographs include the therapeutic indication, dose, and pharmacological properties for individual medicinal plants. The ESCOP monographs and related activities represent the joint harmonization activities of 13 European nations.

Dr Can Baser approaches dietary supplements of plant origin from the perspective of the plant industry in Chapter 4. He discusses the active compounds with potential health benefits in a number of food products such as soybeans, tomatoes, etc.

In Chapter 5 Giovanni Appendino and Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati take what they describe as a 'pharmaceutical point of view' towards diet. In this carefully organized chapter Drs Appendino and Taglialetela-Scafati walk the reader through major developments in the scientific understanding of active pharmaceutical ingredients that occur naturally in food plants and spices. They conclude their chapter with a description of a number of dietary secondary metabolites that show exciting promise for health.

Marco Mucciarelli begins his chapter (Chapter 6) with a clearly written description of the tools and techniques currently used in plant biotechnology. Dr Mucciarelli then details the research history and current knowledge base of the biotechnological advances with plants used for herbal medicines and dietary supplements. Throughout his chapter and particularly in its concluding pages, Dr Mucciarelli incorporates a thoughtful discussion of the benefits and concerns surrounding genetic modification of plants.

In Chapter 7 Massimo Maffei presents a picture of the biochemistry of the key groups of bioactive compounds found in common plants marketed as dietary supplements. Dr Maffei further summarizes the current knowledge of the beneficial physiology of these compounds, their botanical sources, as well as their possible toxicity. His chapter incorporates figures and tables which illustrate the pathways of action and chemical transformations of these compounds.

The public concern that innocent ingestion of botanical supplements might cause unexpected adverse interactions with prescription drugs is addressed in Chapter 8 by Jerry Cott. Specifically, Dr Cott provides an accessible overview of some potential pharmacokinetic interactions of medications with plant-derived dietary supplements. He uses a review of the known interactions of the popular herbal supplement Hypericum perforatum as an example of a herbal medicine that can interact significantly with specific prescription drugs.

In the final chapter, Chapter 9, Gail Mahady provides a comprehensive description of information resources for scientists interested in dietary supplements of plant origin. Dr Mahady has been actively involved for many years with the World Health Organization's Traditional Medicine Programme (WHO-TRM) and she has been instrumental in the development of the WHO monographs on medicinal plants. Dr Mahady divides her chapter between official and scientific information sources and includes current information on Internet links to key databases and websites. This chapter provides an excellent resource of scientific information for all investigators. Finally, the book ends with a useful appendix describing the use of plants in cancer prevention.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
100 Health Tips

100 Health Tips

Breakfast is the most vital meal. It should not be missed in order to refuel your body from functional metabolic changes during long hours of sleep. It is best to include carbohydrates, fats and proteins for an ideal nutrition such as combinations of fresh fruits, bread toast and breakfast cereals with milk. Learn even more tips like these within this health tips guide.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment