Podcast – Better living through chemistry

One of the coolest things about plants is their unlimited ability to manufacture some of the most amazing biochemicals.  This week’s podcast will brief you on some of these phytochemicals in the news – they’re good for you as well as for plants!  We’ll also explore whether natural organic compounds are really all that much safer than synthetic chemicals.  (You can probably already guess the answer to that one.)


2 thoughts on “Podcast – Better living through chemistry”

  1. A purified compound in an in-vitro assay can lead to more interesting research or explain other observations, but using a study based on in-vitro bioassays as evidence for a food preventing human cancer isn’t justified. It can even be argued that the same is true for mouse / rat assays. These experiments indicate that human trials or epidemiological studies may be warranted, and allow for hypothesis development, but human trials or studies are still necessary. And in fact, there is evidence that some compounds in mate CAUSE other types of cancer! (http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/17/5/1262.full.pdf+html). This study is powerful because it gives a mechanism (PAH) to explain the positive correlation between mate consumption and cancer risk. Darn caveats!

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