It is well documented that certain dietary factors have beneficial long term health effects in humans and may prevent age related diseases including cancer, CVD, infertility as well as neural disorders, to name only a few. The successful isolation of bioactive human foods over the last thirty years has led to the drastic changes in dietary recommendations and to the design and production of functional foods and supplements and also to the isolation and characterisation of new plant derived drugs which are used for the prevention and treatment of diseases. The present book is a compilation of articles concerning recent advances and achievements in this field. It covers a broad range of topics falling into this area and contains valuable information for researchers in the fields of biochemistry, food research and medical sciences.
The beneficial properties of common beverages such as teas and coffee which have been elucidated over the last decades are extensively discussed in two review articles as well as the role of resveratrol, red wine constituents in prevention of heart diseases and cancer is described in a separate chapter. The positive effects of plant components such as phenolics and flavonoids against CHD, neural disorders and on platelet function are other important topics. Another field gaining increased attention in the last years concerns the impact of specific nutrients on immune functions, it is covered by a comprehensive review of Meyer et al. One of the hottest topics since many years are the consequences of oxidative stress and their prevention by dietary measures; it is addressed in the first chapter and partly also in a further more specific contribution concerning the protective effects of cell walls isolated from yeast and in other sections of the book. Among the key mechanisms by which many food compounds elicit protection towards diseases is the improvement of the stability of the genetic material and relevant information on antimutagenic properties of dietary factors can be found in the contribution of Stidl and co-workers who describe the inhibition of DNA damage by lactic acid bacteria contained in dietary foods and also in the article of Khader et al. concerning attempts to identify DNA protective effects in plants used in traditional medicine. The last chapter by Nersesyan and colleagues provides an outlook into the new field of nutrigenomics and describes the achievements and limitations encountered by the use of proteomic approaches in nutritional sciences.
We anticipate that the readers will consider this book a useful source of information and stimulating in regard to the design and realisation of new research projects and experiments.