Databases on food phytochemicals and their health-promoting effects

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 May 11;59(9):4331-48. doi: 10.1021/jf200591d. Epub 2011 Apr 12.


Considerable information on the chemistry and biological properties of dietary phytochemicals has accumulated over the past three decades. The scattering of the data in tens of thousands publications and the diversity of experimental approaches and reporting formats all make the exploitation of this information very difficult. Some of the data have been collected and stored in electronic databases so that they can be automatically updated and retrieved. These databases will be particularly important in the evaluation of the effects on health of phytochemicals and in facilitating the exploitation of nutrigenomic data. The content of over 50 databases on chemical structures, spectra, metabolic pathways in plants, occurrence and concentrations in foods, metabolism in humans and animals, biological properties, and effects on health or surrogate markers of health is reviewed. Limits of these databases are emphasized, and needs and recommendations for future developments are underscored. More investments in the construction of databases on phytochemicals and their effects on health are clearly needed. They should greatly contribute to the success of future research in this field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plants, Edible / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts