The active health-protecting compounds that are found as components of plants. Currently, the terms "phytochemical" and "phytonutrient" are being used interchangeably to describe those plant compounds which are thought to have health-protecting qualities. The antioxidant, immune boosting and other health promoting properties of active compounds in plants are being investigated. Phytonutrients or phytochemicals that are being studied presently include (and are not limited to) terpenes, carotenoids, limonoids, and phytosterols.

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phy·to·chem·i·cal -'kem-i-kəl adj of, relating to, or being phytochemistry
phy·to·chem·i·cal·ly -i-k(ə-)lē adv
phytochemical n a chemical compound (as a carotenoid or phytosterol) occurring naturally in plants esp phytonutrient

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Phytochemical — Phy to*chem ic*al, a. Relating to phytochemistry. R. Hunt. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Phytochemical — Phytochemicals are plant derived chemical compounds under scientific research for their potential health promoting properties, but with unproved benefits. Phytonutrients refers to plant derived essential nutrients scientifically confirmed as… …   Wikipedia

  • phytochemical — I. adjective Date: circa 1858 of, relating to, or being phytochemistry • phytochemically adverb II. noun Date: 1985 a chemical compound (as beta carotene) occurring naturally in plants …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • phytochemical — phy·to·chem·i·cal (fī tō kĕmʹĭ kəl) adj. 1. Of or relating to phytochemistry. 2. Of or relating to phytochemicals. n. A nonnutritive bioactive plant substance, such as a flavonoid or carotenoid, considered to have a beneficial effect on human… …   Universalium

  • phytochemical — 1. noun a) Any chemical substance characteristic of plants. b) Any chemical or nutrient derived from a plant source; a phytonutrient. 2. adjective Of or pertaining to phytochemistry …   Wiktionary

  • phytochemical — noun any of various biologically active compounds found in plants. adjective relating to phytochemistry or phytochemicals …   English new terms dictionary

  • phytochemical — phy·to·chemical …   English syllables

  • phytochemical — phy•to•chem•i•cal adj. [[t]ˌfaɪ təˈkɛm ɪ kəl[/t]] n. [[t]ˈfaɪ təˌkɛm [/t]] adj. 1) chem. of or pertaining to phytochemistry or phytochemicals 2) chem. a chemical compound found in plants, believed to have health benefits in humans • Etymology:… …   From formal English to slang

  • phytochemical — /ˈfaɪtoʊkɛmɪkəl/ (say fuytohkemikuhl) noun a non nutritive chemical compound derived from a plant or fruit, which may have medicinal value, as salicin from the willow tree …   Australian English dictionary

  • phytochemical — Molecules characteristically found in plants …   Glossary of Biotechnology

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