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Flavonoid database is online.

Citrus, berries, onions, teas and red wine contain considerable amounts of flavonoids flavonoids,
n.pl common plant pigment compounds that act as antioxidants, enhance the effects of vitamin C, and strengthen connective tissue around capillaries.
. These foods and many others are included in a new supplemental online database available from USDA-ARS USDA-ARS United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service  scientists at the agency's Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center.

Flavonoids make up the largest subgroup sub·group  
n.
1. A distinct group within a group; a subdivision of a group.

2. A subordinate group.

3. Mathematics A group that is a subset of a group.

tr.v.
 of phytonutrients or phytochemicals widely studied by the scientific community because of their purported health benefits. Work on the database began when ARS researchers undertook an extensive search of existing scientific literature and a review of information supplied by food producers. The investigators evaluated the existing flavonoid data and screened it with a USDA-developed data quality evaluation system. Then a quality score was assigned to each value for each food.

These confidence codes, lettered A, B, C or D, appear in a column alongside the values posted in the database. This column gives users a handle on the quality of the data provided. By knowing the flavonoid content of foods, researchers can assess dietary intakes of flavonoids and perhaps identify relationships between those intakes and various chronic-disease risk factors.

Dietary flavonoids fall mainly into five subclasses: flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavans and anthocyanidins. A plant produces more flavonoids as a protective response when it undergoes stress, such as exposure to ultraviolet An invisible band of radiation at the upper end of the visible light spectrum. With wavelengths from 10 to 400 nm, ultraviolet starts at the end of visible light and ends at the beginning of X-rays. The primary source of ultraviolet light is the sun.  radiation, or attack by fungi Fungi (fŭn`jī), kingdom of heterotrophic single-celled, multinucleated, or multicellular organisms, including yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. The organisms live as parasites, symbionts, or saprobes (see saprophyte).  or bacteria. Increased flavonoid levels are thought to enhance certain biological functions in humans. Some flavonoids have antioxidative, antimicrobial antimicrobial /an·ti·mi·cro·bi·al/ (-mi-kro´be-al)
1. killing microorganisms or suppressing their multiplication or growth.

2. an agent with such effects.
, and possibly anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective capabilities.

The new ARS Flavonoid Database, online at www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp, provides analytical values for selected compounds in about 220 foods. An update will also appear containing new data on 59 food items that are now being analyzed. Scientists developed a new analytical method that simultaneously separates and measures the five major flavonoid classes. The samples of fruits, nuts and vegetables used were collected as part of the National Food and Nutrient nutrient /nu·tri·ent/ (noo´tre-int)
1. nourishing; providing nutrition.

2. a food or other substance that provides energy or building material for the survival and growth of a living organism.
 Analysis Program developed in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health to improve the quality and quantity of data in USDA's National Nutrient Database.

To access the new database on the Internet, go to www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp. Under the red Food Composition Products label, click on flavonoids.

Further information. Joanne Holden Holden, town (1990 pop. 14,628), Worcester co., central Mass., a residential suburb of Worcester; settled 1723, set off and inc. 1741. Manufactures include electrical and metal products, plastics, and machinery. , USDA-ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Building 005, Beltsville, MD 20705; phone: 301-504-0630; fax: 301-504-0632; email: jholden@rbhnrc.usda.gov.
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:382
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