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Plant Pathways and Pukka Pathways

9th June 2015

Not everyone understands that food and plants supply information to the body, but we can’t over-emphasise the importance of this plant information concept. A single food plant such as a tomato, if vine ripened and allowed to develop its full phytochemical potential before being harvested and eaten, contains around 1000 different phytochemical compounds recognised by science. We know an immense amount about a relatively small number of these compounds, and each additional year of scientific endeavour helps us to understand (and serves as proof) that it’s this complex matrix of compounds that’s probably more important than the action of individual, isolated compounds.

These isolated phytochemicals often have multiple targets within the body, a far-cry from most pharmaceutical drugs that have a single target, such as inhibiting a particular pathway or receptor.

Gene talk

It’s vitally important to understand that the plant foods and herbs to which we’re exposed over our lives alter our pattern of gene expression, and therefore our physical development and health status. This process is referred to as epigenetics. In essence, it’s about how our environment, especially our diet and lifestyle, shapes the way our genetic code is expressed. This includes the fact that these epigenetic changes create permanent alterations to our DNA (via processes called DNA methylation and histone modification) that can then be passed on to future generations.

These are among the many reasons it’s so important to make sure you consume a diverse, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet with additional herbs, spices and phytochemicals.

About Pukka

It’s hard for most of us to know what constitutes a balanced and varied diet. Even scientists struggle to agree what’s best for us, some of that being because our needs can be highly individual. But whatever ideal we’ve found works best for us, many of us struggle to keep it going, day in and day out.

With our Organic Supplements and our Organic Teas, we're all about bringing the richest sources of plant nutrients to you to help you get the most out of life.

Our products have not just been sourced with the finest organic ingredients, they’ve been prepared in ways that minimise any loss of bioactivity. We also bring together different plant compounds in specific formulations to optimise their synergy for their intended function.

That’s where Pukka Pathways [link within site] come in. They help you understand more about why particular ingredients have been used in specific formulations, and for what target body systems they are intended, based on published research findings.

One of the things you might find striking is just how many ingredients have multiple targets and functions in the body. When you then put several of these ingredients together, you really do have a plant information bonanza -- one intended to help your body find its own perfect point of equilibrium. In such a state, we become so much more resilient and capable of meeting life's many opportunities and challenges head on.

So go ahead, indulge in plants – and in life! We hope we can contribute something to your journey.

Dr. Robert Verkerk, Executive and Scientific Director

Robert is an internationally acclaimed scientist with over 25 years experience in the field of agricultural and healthcare sustainability, having worked in academia, industry and the not-for-profit sector. He has worked extensively in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas as well as Europe. After leaving Imperial College London in 2002, he founded the Alliance for Natural Health, which he has headed since.