Friday, March 10, 2017

Today's new word--Metabolomics

Metabolomics is the large-scale study of small molecules, commonly known as metabolites, within cells, biofluids, tissues or organisms. Collectively, these small molecules and their interactions within a biological system are known as the metabolome.  There is a whole course at free at Creative Commons on this subject, which I looked up because it came up in an article about blood pressure and potatoes at World's Healthiest Foods. 
"UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found in Lycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine, kukoamines were found in potatoes using a new type of research called metabolomics.

Until now, when analyzing a plant's composition, scientists had to know what they were seeking and could typically look for 30 or so known compounds. Now, metabolomic techniques enable researchers to find the unexpected by analyzing the 100s or even 1000s of small molecules produced by an organism.""Do potatoes have a potential for helping lower blood pressure," World's Healthiest Foods
A powerhouse of nutrition:
"One medium potato (5.3 ounces or about 1 cup) contains almost 30 milligrams of vitamin C, which is half of what you need in a day. It has more potassium (620 milligrams) than a medium banana. We should get about 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day to protect our heart,  keep our blood pressure in a good range and ensure that our muscles don’t cramp and our nerves send the right messages. Only about 1 percent of Americans meet their potassium needs.

The potato is a good source of vitamin B6, meeting almost one-third of our daily needs. This vitamin is needed to utilize protein and carbohydrates in our diet as well as to manufacture most protein-related compounds, such as hormones, in our body. A fresh potato is low in sodium, fat-free and gluten-free.

The sweet potato is promoted as much healthier than the potato. The USDA Food Database shows the sweet potato is slightly higher in calories, carbohydrates, fiber, natural sugars, calcium and vitamin A. Vitamin A is the biggest nutritional difference from the regular potato. But the regular potato is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, iron, potassium, vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. Yes, the sweet potato is healthy and so is the potato."

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