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Salvestrols are plant derived compounds (phytonutrients), essential for wellbeing, that cannot be made in the body and must therefore be supplied through diet. As a group, they are chemically unrelated substances except for the similar manner in which they confer their benefits, that is, as a result of their action with a particular family of enzymes. These enzymes are present only in malfunctioning cells and when they encounter a salvestrol they convert it into a form which is toxic to the sick cell. Because the enzyme is not present in healthy cells the salvestrols exert no ill effects on them.

Cells in the body use salvestrols to help correct themselves when things go wrong. The sorts of situations where the body would normally use salvestrols are those in which the body for some reason turns on itself and causes inflammation. There seems to be some relationship between the increase in the incidence of these "modern day" conditions over the past 100 years and the gradual diminution in the presence of Salvestrols in the diet.

One reason for the disappearance of salvestrols in the diet is that that they all have a bitter taste. As a result of the modern trend toward sweet flavours, plant sources that would normally be rich in salvestrols are shunned as sweeter tasting varieties are bred or selected to suit modern tastes. Furthermore, the trend towards producing foods without adding sugars or sweeteners is also causing salvestrols to be removed by manufacturing processes that filter out bitter substances so that the finished product will taste sweeter.

It is estimated that we consume today about 10-20% of the salvestrols which would have occurred in the diet 100 years ago. So, even though we are being urged to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, unless you eat organic you are unlikely to get sufficient salvestrols from your diet.

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