Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Plants Protect Us From Disease

Date:
April 27, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Everyday foods, beverages, and spices contain healthful compounds that help us fight harmful inflammation. And, in doing that, these phytochemicals—the resveratrol in red wine or the catechins in green, white and black teas, for instance—may also reduce our risk of diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including cancer and diabetes.

ARS molecular biologist Daniel H. Hwang (right), is working with postdoctoral researcher Scott Wong, to solve the complex puzzle of how phytochemicals in plants fight inflammation in people.
Credit: Photo by Stephen Ausmus

Everyday foods, beverages, and spices contain healthful compounds that help us fight harmful inflammation. And, in doing that, these phytochemicals—the resveratrol in red wine or the catechins in green, white and black teas, for instance—may also reduce our risk of diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including cancer and diabetes.

Related Articles


At the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, Calif., research molecular biologist Daniel H. Hwang conducts studies to solve the complex puzzle of precisely how phytochemicals fight inflammation. His investigations with cells cultured in his laboratory have uncovered probable modes of action used by phytochemicals from red wine, green tea, garlic, curcumin and cinnamon.

Hwang's team has found, for example, that phytochemicals can interfere with the normal flow of certain chemical signals or messages sent to and from cells involved in chronic inflammation. The messages these cells send are in the form of proteins. In particular, his group is closely examining proteins known as TLRs (short for "Toll-Like Receptors") and NODs (an abbreviation for the tongue-twisting "nucleotide binding oligomerization domain containing proteins").

Their experiments show that certain phytochemicals can interfere with messages that, if unimpeded, could travel from TLRs and NODs, reaching and activating genes that can trigger an inflammatory response.

The studies suggest that different phytochemicals have different ways of interfering with these messages. For example, curcumin can undermine certain TLRs when a specific part of curcumin's chemical structure reacts with what are known as "sulfhydryl groups" in TLRs.

But resveratrol, found in red grapes, has a different set of targets. Hwang's experiments suggest that resveratrol interferes with molecules called "TBK1" and "RIP1." If unimpeded, these molecules would help convey signals to and from TLRs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "How Plants Protect Us From Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419202029.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, April 27). How Plants Protect Us From Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419202029.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "How Plants Protect Us From Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090419202029.htm (accessed April 20, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, April 20, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Deepwater And Dolphins: The Oil Spill's Impact 5 Years On

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2015) Five years on, the possible environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill includes a sustained die-off of bottlenose dolphins, among others. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

Five Years Later, the BP Oil Spill Is Still Taking Its Toll

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the biggest oil spill in US history. BP recently reported the Gulf is recovering well, but scientists paint a different picture. Duration: 02:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

Thai Customs Seize African Elephant Tusks Worth $6 Mn

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) Thai customs seize four tonnes of African elephant ivory worth $6 million at a Bangkok port in a container labelled as beans. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins