Biofactors in food promote health by enhancing mitochondrial function

Sonia F. Shenoy, Winyoo Chowanadisai, Edward Sharman, Carl L Keen, Jiankang Liu, Robert B. Rucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial function has been linked to protection from and symptom reduction in chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We review a number of phytochemicals and biofactors that influence mitochon-drial function and oxidative metabolism. These include resveratrol found in grapes; several plant-derived flavonoids (quercetin, epicatechin, catechin and procyanidins); and two tyrosine-derived quinones, hydroxytyrosol in olive oil and pyrroloquinoline quinone, a minor but ubiquitous component of plant and animal tissues. In plants, these biofactors serve as pigments, phytoalexins or growth factors. In animals, positive nutritional and physiological attributes have been established for each, particularly with respect to their ability to affect energy metabolism, cell signaling and mitochondrial function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
JournalCalifornia Agriculture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Forestry


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