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      The Role of Food Antioxidants, Benefits of Functional Foods, and Influence of Feeding Habits on the Health of the Older Person: An Overview

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          Abstract

          This overview was directed towards understanding the relationship of brain functions with dietary choices mainly by older humans. This included food color, flavor, and aroma, as they relate to dietary sufficiency or the association of antioxidants with neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Impairment of olfactory and gustatory function in relation to these diseases was also explored. The role of functional foods was considered as a potential treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease through inhibition of acetylcholinesterase as well as similar treatments based on herbs, spices and antioxidants therein. The importance of antioxidants for maintaining the physiological functions of liver, kidney, digestive system, and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer has also been highlighted. Detailed discussion was focused on health promotion of the older person through the frequency and patterns of dietary intake, and a human ecology framework to estimate adverse risk factors for health. Finally, the role of the food industry, mass media, and apps were explored for today’s new older person generation.

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          Most cited references164

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          Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals.

          Cardiovascular disease and cancer are ranked as the first and second leading causes of death in the United States and in most industrialized countries. Regular consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging. Prevention is a more effective strategy than is treatment of chronic diseases. Functional foods that contain significant amounts of bioactive components may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition and play important roles in the prevention of chronic diseases. The key question is whether a purified phytochemical has the same health benefit as does the whole food or mixture of foods in which the phytochemical is present. Our group found, for example, that the vitamin C in apples with skin accounts for only 0.4% of the total antioxidant activity, suggesting that most of the antioxidant activity of fruit and vegetables may come from phenolics and flavonoids in apples. We propose that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities, and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods.
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            Phytoalexins in defense against pathogens.

            Plants use an intricate defense system against pests and pathogens, including the production of low molecular mass secondary metabolites with antimicrobial activity, which are synthesized de novo after stress and are collectively known as phytoalexins. In this review, we focus on the biosynthesis and regulation of camalexin, and its role in plant defense. In addition, we detail some of the phytoalexins produced by a range of crop plants from Brassicaceae, Fabaceae, Solanaceae, Vitaceae and Poaceae. This includes the very recently identified kauralexins and zealexins produced by maize, and the biosynthesis and regulation of phytoalexins produced by rice. Molecular approaches are helping to unravel some of the mechanisms and reveal the complexity of these bioactive compounds, including phytoalexin action and metabolism. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Domestication and early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin: Origins, diffusion, and impact.

              The past decade has witnessed a quantum leap in our understanding of the origins, diffusion, and impact of early agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin. In large measure these advances are attributable to new methods for documenting domestication in plants and animals. The initial steps toward plant and animal domestication in the Eastern Mediterranean can now be pushed back to the 12th millennium cal B.P. Evidence for herd management and crop cultivation appears at least 1,000 years earlier than the morphological changes traditionally used to document domestication. Different species seem to have been domesticated in different parts of the Fertile Crescent, with genetic analyses detecting multiple domestic lineages for each species. Recent evidence suggests that the expansion of domesticates and agricultural economies across the Mediterranean was accomplished by several waves of seafaring colonists who established coastal farming enclaves around the Mediterranean Basin. This process also involved the adoption of domesticates and domestic technologies by indigenous populations and the local domestication of some endemic species. Human environmental impacts are seen in the complete replacement of endemic island faunas by imported mainland fauna and in today's anthropogenic, but threatened, Mediterranean landscapes where sustainable agricultural practices have helped maintain high biodiversity since the Neolithic.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Antioxidants (Basel)
                Antioxidants (Basel)
                antioxidants
                Antioxidants
                MDPI
                2076-3921
                28 October 2017
                December 2017
                : 6
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]School Medicine Pharmacy and Health, Durham University, Durham TS17 6BH, UK
                [2 ]Centre for Ageing & Dementia Research, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK; P.Nash@ 123456swansea.ac.uk
                [3 ]Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada; hsbuttar@ 123456bell.net
                [4 ]Tenovus Institute for Cancer Research, Cardiff University, Laurel Cottage, Castleton, Gwent CF3 2UR, UK; profkgriffiths@ 123456aol.com
                [5 ]Halberg Hospital and Research Institute, Civil Lines, Moradabad, UP 244001, India; rbs@ 123456tsimtsoum.net
                [6 ]TsimTsoum Institute, Ulica Gołębia 2, Kraków 31-007, Poland; fdm@ 123456tsimtsoum.net
                [7 ]Department of Food Sciences and Nutrition, Faculty of Human Environmental Sciences, Mukogawa Women’s University, 6-46 Ikebiraki-cho, Nishinomiya 663-8558, Japan; mhor9496@ 123456mukogawa-u.ac.jp
                [8 ]Graduate School of Human Environment Science, Fukuoka Women’s University, 1-1-1 Kasumigaoka, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 813-8529, Japan; takahashi@ 123456fwu.ac.jp
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: d.w.wilson@ 123456swansea.ac.uk ; Tel.: +44-179-229-5789
                Article
                antioxidants-06-00081
                10.3390/antiox6040081
                5745491
                29143759
                7e011864-b01a-49cb-88dc-126053554c43
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                older person,diet,food flavor/color/aroma,olfactory function,dementia,alzheimer’s disease,food antioxidants,human ecology,food industry

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