Bioactive food components are the compounds in foods other than those necessary for human nutritional needs that cause changes in health status. This article discusses a few challenges to conducting quality research on the benefits of these compounds.
The first challenge is that different concentrations of these compounds have different effects on cells. Some studies use higher concentrations of these compounds than what is practical when humans consume that food. Sometimes a food component can have a beneficial effect at one concentration and a detrimental effect at another.
The second challenge is that humans consume food orally and typically in three meals a day over a long period of time, whereas animal studies sometimes utilize the injection of high concentrations over a short period of time. These differences can change how much of the bioactive component is absorbed and therefore its health effects.
The third challenge is that animals are genetically and physiologically different than humans, and these differences can change how the bioactive component affects the body.
The fourth challenge is that food components interact with each other and with the human microbiome, the collection of bacteria in our gut. These interactions can produce different effects than when the food component is given in isolation.
These challenges need to be taken into consideration when designing experiments and drawing conclusions about the health effects of bioactive food components.
Original research paper can be found:
Can't access the original article? Find out more details about this article on our database: