Phytochemistry

Evolving from the primordial soup about a half billion years ago, land plants first started the evolutionary process to develop biochemical detoxication mechanisms for their own protection. One of the beauties or symmetries of nature is that we inherited most of our biochemical detoxification mechanisms from the very plants upon which we depended for a food supply, and those phytochemicals are as effective as anything modern pharmacology has developed in assisting us in our own protection. Human beings have not just recently developed the need to detoxify air and water pollutants like pesticides, plasticizers, and volatile organic hydrocarbons. From the moment we (and our predecessor mammals) started eating, our survival depended upon our ability to detoxify toxins from fungal and bacterial food contaminants and from the plants and animals we ate. When Homo sapiens emerged from Neanderthal man and first tamed fire about 40,000 years ago, we started living in highly polluted microenvironments and charring our steaks to produce carcinogenic heterocyclic amines. As stated so eloquently by the populist writer Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire, “While we animals were busy nailing down things like locomotion and consciousness, plants acquired an array of extraordinary and occasionally diabolical powers by discovering how to synthesize remarkably complicated molecules.” I am enamored with this process and the implications of it. To put it more in the vernacular of the here and now: EVOLUTION ROCKS!… and RULES!

Related Publications

Fahey JW.  (2017)  Moringa oleifera: A review of the medical potential.  Acta Horticulturae ISHS 1158: 209-224. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1158.25. [Abstract]
Dinkova-Kostova AT, JW Fahey, RV Kostov, TW Kensler.  (2017)  KEAP1 and done? Targeting the NRF2 pathway with sulforaphane.  Trends in Food Science and Technology 1-13. [Article].
Leone A, G Diorio, W Sexton, M Schell, M Alexandrow, JW Fahey, N Kumar.  (2017)  Sulforaphane for the chemoprevention of bladder cancer: Molecular mechanism targeted approach.  Oncotarget doi: 10.18632/oncotarget. 16015. [Article]
Fahey JW, KL Wade, SL Wehage, WD Holtzclaw, H Liu, P Talalay, E Fuchs, KK Stephenson. (2016) Stabilized sulforaphane for clinical use: Phytochemical delivery efficiency.  Molecular Nutrition and Food Research doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201600766. [Article].
Kerns ML, L Guss, JW Fahey, B Cohen, JMC Hakim, S Sung, RG Lu, and PA Coulombe. (2016) Randomized, split-body, single-blinded clinical trial of topical broccoli sprout extract assessing the feasibility of its use in keratin-based disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.10.009. [Article]
Wise RA, Crinert G, Sethi S, Rayapudi S, Sudini KR, Sugar EA, Burke A, Thimmulappa R, Singh A, Talalay P, Fahey JW, Berenson CS, Jacobs MR, Biswal S.  (2016)  Lack of Effect of Oral Sulforaphane Administration on Nrf2 Expression in COPD: a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo Controlled Trial. PLOS One 11(11): e0163716. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163716. [Article]
Olson ME, RP Sankaran, JW Fahey, MA Grusak, D Odee, W Nouman.  (2016)  Leaf protein and mineral concentrations across the “miracle tree” genus Moringa. PLOS One. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0159782#sec018. [Article]
Benedict AL, EV Knatko, RV Kostov, Y Zhang, M Higgins, S Kalra, JW Fahey, SH Ibbotson, CM Proby, P Talalay, AT Dinkova-Kostova.  (2016)  The multifaceted role of sulforaphane in protection against UV radiation-mediated skin damage. In Juurlink B. (ed.) Broccoli: Cultivation, Nutritional Properties and Effects on Health.  Nova Publishers, NY. [Link]
Johnson TL, AT Dinkova-Kostova, and JW Fahey.  (2016)  Glucosinolates from the Brassica Vegetables and their Health Effects. In Caballero B, Finglas P, and Toldrá F (eds) The Encyclopedia of Food and Health vol. 3, pp. 248-255. Oxford: Academic Press. [Link]
Fahey JW.  (2016)  Brassica: Characteristics and Properties. In Caballero B, Finglas P, and Toldrá F (eds) The Encyclopedia of Food and Health vol. 1, pp. 469-477. Oxford: Academic Press. [Link]
Fahey JW, WD Holtzclaw, SL Wehage, KL Wade, KK Stephenson, P Talalay.  (2015)  Sulforaphane bioavailability from glucoraphanin-rich broccoli: Control by active endogenous myrosinase. PLOS ONE  doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0140963 [Article].
Wade KL, Y Ito, A Ramarathnam, WD Holtzclaw, and J W Fahey. (2014) Novel purification of active myrosinase from plants by aqueous two-phase counter-current chromatography. Phytochemical Analysis (online 7/7/14; DOI 10.1002/pca.2535).[Abstract]
Tsuji PA, KK Stephenson, KL Wade, H Liu, JW Fahey. (2013) Structure-activity analysis of flavonoids: Direct and indirect antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory potencies and toxicities. Nutrition and Cancer 65(7) 1014-1025. [Abstract]
Johnson TL, JW Fahey. (2012) Black cohosh: Coming full circle? J Ethnopharmacology 141(3): 775-779. [Abstract]
Bhattacharya A, Y Li, KL Wade, JD Paonessa, JW Fahey and Y Zhang. (2010) Allyl isothiocyanate-rich mustard seed powder inhibits bladder cancer growth and muscle invasion. Carcinogenesis 31(12): 2105-2110. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Dinkova-Kostova, AT, JW Fahey, AL Benedict, SN Jenkins, L Ye, SL Wehage and P Talalay. (2010) Dietary glucoraphanin-rich broccoli sprout extracts protect against UV radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 hairless mice. Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 9: 597-600. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Healy, ZR, AT Dinkova-Kostova, SL Wehage, RE Thompson, JW Fahey and P Talalay. (2009) Precise determination of the erythema response of human skin to ultraviolet radiation and quantification of effects of protectors. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. 25: 45-50. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Yanaka A, JW Fahey, A Fukumoto, M Nakayama, S Inoue, S Zhang, M Tauchi, H Suzuki, I Hyodo and M Yamamoto. (2009) Dietary sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprouts reduce colonization and attenuate gastritis in Helicobacter pylori-infected mice and humans. Cancer Prevention Research 2(4): 353-360. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Lee SL, KL Stephenson, JW Fahey, TL Parsons, PL Lietman, AA Andrade, X Lei, H Yun, GH Soon, P Shen, S Danishefsky and C Flexner. (2009) Induction of chemoprotective phase 2 enzymes by ginseng and its components. Planta Medica 75: 1-5. [Abstract]
Munday, R, P Mhawech-Fauceglia, CM Munday, JD Paonessa, L Tang, JS Munday, C Lister, P Wilson, JW Fahey, W Davis and Y Zhang. (2008) Inhibition of urinary bladder carcinogenesis by broccoli sprouts. Cancer Res. 68(5): 1593-1600. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Dinkova-Kostova, AT, SN Jenkins, SL Wehage, DL Huso, AL Benedict, KK Stephenson, JW Fahey, H Liu, KT Liby, T Honda, GW Gribble, MB Sporn and P Talalay. (2008) A dicyano-triterpenoid induces cytoprotective enzymes and reduces multiplicity of skin tumors in UV-irradiated mice. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 367: 859-865. [Abstract]
Dinkova-Kostova, AT, JW Fahey, SN Jenkins, SL Wehage and P Talalay. (2008) Rapid body weight gain increases the risk of ultraviolet radiation-induced skin carcinogenesis in SKH-1 hairless mice. Nutrition Research 28(8): 539-543. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Farag, TH, JW Fahey, SS Khalfan and JM Tielsch. (2008) Diet as a factor in unexpectedly low prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 102(11): 1164-1165. [Abstract]
Ng, F, H Yun, X Lei, SJ Danishefsky, JW Fahey, KK Stephenson, C Flexner and L Lee. (2008) (3R,9R,10R)-Panaxytriol: a molecular-based nutraceutical with possible application to cancer prevention and treatment. Tetrahedron Letters 49: 7178-7179.
Wade, KL, IJ Garrard, JW Fahey. (2007) Improved hydrophilic interaction chromatography method for the identification and quantification of glucosinolates. J. Chrom. A. 1154: 469-472. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Fisher, D, IJ Garrard, R Van den Heuvel, IA Sutherland, FE Chou and JW Fahey. (2005) Technology transfer and scale-up of a potential cancer-preventive plant [secondary product]: Dynamic extraction of glucoraphanin. J. Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies 28: 1913-1922. [Full Text]
Fahey, JW, KK Stephenson, AT Dinkova-Kostova, PA Egner, TW Kensler, and P Talalay. (2005) Chlorophyll, chlorophyllin and related tetrapyrroles are significant inducers of mammalian phase 2 cytoprotective genes. Carcinogenesis 26: 1247-1255. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Farnham, MW, KK Stephenson and JW Fahey. (2005) Glucoraphanin level in broccoli seed is largely determined by genotype. HortScience 40(1): 50-53.
Dinkova-Kostova, AT, JW Fahey, and P Talalay. (2004) Chemical structures of inducers of nicotinamide quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). Vol. 382, Part B, pp. 423-448. in Methods in Enzymology, (Eds.) H. Sies & L. Packer, Elsevier Science, San Diego, CA. [Abstract]
Fahey, JW, KL Wade, KK Stephenson, FE Chou. (2003) Separation and purification of glucosinolates from crude plant homogenates by high-speed counter-current chromatography. J. Chromatogr. A. 996: 85-93. [Abstract]
Farnham, MW, PE Wilson, KK Stephenson and JW Fahey. (2004) Genetic and environmental effects on glucosinolate content and chemoprotective potency of broccoli. Plant Breeding 123: 60-65.
Fahey, JW and KK Stephenson. (2002) Pinostrobin from Honey and Thai Ginger (Boesenbergia pandurata): A Potent Flavonoid Inducer of Mammalian Phase 2 Chemoprotective and Antioxidant Enzymes. J. Agric. Food Chem. 50: 7422-7476. [Abstract]
Troyer, JK, KK Stephenson and JW Fahey. (2001) Analysis of glucosinolates from broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography. J. Chromatogr. A. 919(2):299-304. [Abstract]
Fahey, JW, AT Zalcmann and P Talalay. (2001) The chemical diversity and distribution of glucosinolates and isothiocyanates among plants. Phytochemistry 56(1):5-51. [corrigendum: Phytochemistry 59, 237.] [Abstract]
Fahey, JW, BA Clevidence and RM Russell. (1999) Methods for assessing the biological effects of specific plant components, Nutrition Reviews 57(9):S34-S40. [Abstract]
Shikita, M, JW Fahey, TR Golden, WD Holtzclaw and P Talalay. (1999) An unusual case of ‘uncompetitive activation’ by ascorbic acid: Purification and kinetic properties of a myrosinase from Raphanus sativus seedlings, Biochem. J. 341:725-732. [Abstract] [Full Article]
Khachik, F, JS Bertram, MT Huang, JW Fahey and P Talalay. (1999) “Dietary carotenoids and their metabolites as potentially useful chemoprotective agents against cancer”. In Proc. Int. Symp. Antioxidant Food Supplements in Human Health, Eds. L. Packer, M. Hiramatsu & T. Yoshikawa, pp. 203-229. Academic Press.
Fahey, JW, KK Stephenson and P Talalay. (1998) Glucosinolates, myrosinase and isothiocyanates: Three reasons for eating brassica vegetables. In ACS Symposium Series 701. Functional Foods for Disease Prevention: Fruits, Vegetables and Teas, Eds. T Shibamoto, J Terao and T Osawa, pp. 16-22.
Prestera, T, JW Fahey, W David Holtzclaw, C Abeygunawardana, JL.Kachinski and P Talalay. (1996) Comprehensive, chromatographic and spectroscopic methods for the separation and identification of intact glucosinolates. Analytical Biochemistry 239:168-179. [Abstract]
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