Courses Details

EHS617 Phytochemical Toxicology and Nutrition

  • Graduate level
  • Winter term(s)
  • 2 Credit Hour(s)
  • Instructor(s): Harris, Craig
  • Undergraduates are allowed to enroll in this course.
  • Description: This course explores the science behind beneficial and deleterious effects of phytochemicals, the chemical agents produced by plants and which are found in the foods that we eat and the medicines we use to treat disease. We will focus on oxidants, antioxidants, and the properties of specific classes of phytochemicals.
  • Course Goals: Examine the chemistry of free radicals, oxidants, reducing agents, and the phenomenon known as "oxidative stress". Learn what an antioxidant is and what it isn't. Evaluate claims regarding antioxidant properties in disease prevention. Learn the mechanistic basis for anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, and other beneficial effects of phytochemicals Review the major classes of phytochemicals found in foods and learn how they provide their beneficial properties, as well as how they may elicit toxicity and cause various adverse outcomes.
  • Competencies: Students should be able to identify the major bioactive phytochemicals in foods and products and describe their basic properties. Understand the chemistry/biochemistry of reactive oxygen and be able to define "oxidative stress". Be able to describe what an antioxidant is and understand why many claims of antioxidant properties are false. Describe medicinal claims for phytochemicals based on sound scientific facts.
  • Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives: The students taking this class are expected to learn about: L1 the structure, metabolism, and utilization of triplet oxygen (O2), including the generation of reactive oxygen species (intermediate) L2 the proper definition, quantification, and application of "oxidative stress" as it applies to disease and toxicity (intermediate) L3 the true nature of "antioxidants" and be able to distinguish the differences between an "antioxidant" and an "antioxidant response" (intermediate) L4 the specific types and chemical characteristics of phytochemicals (chemical substances produced by plants) and where they are found (basic) L5 how to assess whether the beneficial effects ascribed to specific food and medicinal plants actually match up with their known chemical and biological effects (basic) L6 the different classes of unique phytochemicals produced by the plants we commonly eat and use
  • This course is cross-listed with in the The intent is to cross-list this course in the new Nutrition Department. I will be Phtyochemical Toxicology and Nutrition in EHS (EHS 617) and Phtyochemical Toxicology and Nutrition in NS (NUTR 617) department.