Phytochemicals and Human Microbial Communities

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Food Research
Department Name: Contracts


Terpeniods are the most structurally diverse class of plant natural products with a broad range of biological activities ranging from plant defences against pathogens, to pollinator attraction among myriad other roles in the chemical ecology. While these molecules often impart desirable flavour and fragrance properties to the foods we eat, little or nothing is known about their influence on healthy ageing in human populations. Of particular interest here are a subclass of terpenoids called the sesquiterpene phytoalexins (plant defence chemicals), some of which have demonstrated bacteriostatic potency against Helicobacter pylorri, the bacterium responsible for ulcers and gastric cancer. These investigations aim to define the chemical mechanisms of sesquiterpenes and explore the implications for human heath.


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