Dominique Richard: Phytochemistry – No Need To Be More Difficult Than What It Already Is!
Dominique Richard, Master Phytotherapist and Professor of Phyto-Pharmacovigilance, shares an interesting viewpoint on the study of phytochemistry, specifically regarding phytochemical classifications.
PHYTOCHEMISTRY - NO NEED TO BE MORE DIFFICULT THAN WHAT IT ALREADY IS!
Dominique Richard feels passionately about studying and learning from nature’s pharmacy. His thoughts about the study of phytochemistry bear attention. When reading information about phytochemistry, to be worth your time, it needs to be specific, complete and list the total plant composition, which most do not. Information should be presented with identifiable classifications and specificity.
Dominique has compelling points of discussion for his reasoning. First, the information needs to be specific and complete. Currently, it is common knowledge that no international consensus exists regarding phytochemicals classification. We are already burdened in trying to remember all of these names, but it becomes even more difficult with the dilemma of 10 plus existing names now identifying one given phytochemical. Interestingly enough, some people are making it more confusing by adding names for any one given phytochemical, while at the same time, neglecting specificity.
A prime example of this is the polyphenol, subclass flavone – Quercetin, of which there is in existence over 100 and still counting! To see this phytochemical listed, as part of any one plant phytochemical constituent breakdown, does not mean anything without the specificity of which quercetin is it. The reason the biological specificity of each Quercetin is so important, is that some have complete opposite activity.
It is better absorbed than another quercetin and reaches the bloodstream 10 times faster. It enhances cellular antioxidant defenses, supports the cardiovascular system and immunomodulatory. This statement is from isolated use studies, as no quercetins are difficult to absorb when used from whole plant extracts - most of these statements about the bioavailability are again dependent on how it was macerated and from what source. Many erroneous conclusions are deducted about plant phytochemicals lack of bioavailability, but most have failed to do toxicology testing prior to studying a specific plant. Arsenic contaminated plants will be difficult to render the rest of phytochemicals being absorbed that is the nature of arsenic in the GI tract. They are also many other reasons, including what a person may be doing to themselves - like the use of too many laxatives or coffee which further reduces the rate of absorption, including magnesium supplements, etc...
The many confusing names for no-good reason:
Isoquercetin is also known as Trifoliin, Isotrifolin, Trifoliin A, Isohyperoside, Isotrifoliin which only belongs to the plant Trifolium repens but indeed is the same as Quercetin-3-glucoside (Isoquercetin) C21H20O12. This is the result of some fanciful verbiage, creativity on the part of some authors perhaps wanting to look like they discovered something new, a novel phytochemical, which it is NOT the case. The only accurate way to go about this is by the chemical structure or molecular formula which for Isoquercetin is C21H20O12 but for some less chemically oriented practitioners this is even more confusing and less practical for discussion and obvious good reasons. Most people are not experts at talking about plants without a name, just discussing them in terms of molecular formula - carbon 21, hydrogen 20 and oxygen 12. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) serve to advance the worldwide aspects of the chemical sciences and to contribute to the application of chemistry in the service of Humankind. As a scientific, international, non-governmental and objective body, IUPAC can address many global issues involving the chemical sciences. The problem with this organization is that it only lists the synthetic version of chemical compounds. These analogues do not work in the same way as their natural source so this is also a useless terminology for natural phytopharmacology and phytopharmacokinetics.
The same problem exists with common plant names with some having upward of three to twenty common different names for one given plant. It would be nice to clean up this convoluted jargon mess, as it is far from practical and definitely not user friendly. In fact, this unnecessary garbage is sufficient enough to deter some from learning. For those who are learning and trying to remember all of tiny nature’s pharmacology, it does not need to be more difficult than what already is!
Turn to the point of total plant composition, again, look at quercetin. A useless compound name by itself, when lacking the specificity, it is absolutely meaningless when written alone. Dominique indicated his recommendation is not to bother reading any research paper where quercetin is listed alone, as it becomes a worthless study. He suggests studying information, which lists the total plant composition responsible for a specific action. The truth lies within the fact that even many small compound amounts can contribute to an action by synergy. If they are part of the total composition, it is for a good reason. Time should be taken to know the compositions and entire interactions then combining and achieving results can happen, where others have failed. These are the rewards and vast differences between thinking something versus really knowing it.To find out more about Dominique Richard and his work with single embryonic plant extracts and complexes, visit www.epsce.com. The PSC Professional Division has much to offer the Healthcare Professional and it’s all free of charge.
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