Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Organic fruit and vegetables may be better for you than conventionally grown crops

Organic food 'better' for heart BBC 7/5/07 "A ten-year study comparing organic tomatoes with standard produce found almost double the level of flavonoids - a type of antioxidant.
Flavonoids have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke...Dr Alyson Mitchell, a food chemist at the University of California, and colleagues measured the amount of two flavonoids - quercetin and kaempferol - in dried tomato samples that had been collected as part of a long-term study on agricultural methods...on average they were 79% and 97% higher respectively in the organic tomatoes than in the conventionally grown fruit...New Scientist magazine reported that the different levels of flavonoids in tomatoes are probably due to the absence of fertilisers in organic farming. Flavonoids are produced as a defence mechanism that can be triggered by nutrient deficiency, such as a lack of nitrogen in the soil. The inorganic nitrogen in conventional fertiliser is easily available to plants and so, the researchers suggests, the lower levels of flavonoids are probably caused by over-fertilisation."

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