1

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Phytochemicals : plants :: ________ : animals

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 11, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I was discussing health and food with a vegan acquaintance of mine, and "phytochemicals" came up. It came up as in "well, animals aren't a good source of phytochemicals" to which I responded that the only thing a phytochemical is is a chemical found only in plants, regardless if they are healthy or bad for humans.

Once that got cleared up, I was wondering ... what is the name for animal-sourced chemicals? The best I could make up or guess is zoachemicals.

Now, that leads me to ask: do any zoachemicals exist? Even cholesterol internally produced in plants and fungi.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 11, 2012
at 08:51 PM

But again, if it's in the algae, isn't that where the animals are getting it? I do agree though, maybe in a more concentrated, usable form.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 11, 2012
at 04:08 PM

@greymouser, be aware also, that vegans considered phytates to be phytonutrients, paleo folk generally think otherwise. ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 11, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Mike, that's true. Animals do concentrate some nutrients (EFAs for example) into a useable amount. Lutein in chicken eggs is another example. All the more reason to eat healthy animals!

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2012
at 04:00 PM

@Matt - we definitely didn't argue about the fact that both of us eat better than the average population. I was actually kind of surprised to hear the phytochemical comment. Good call on the carnitine!

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 11, 2012
at 03:39 PM

I think fish obtain EPA/DHA from algae. I think the real argument is that animals (once you go down the food chain), get all their micronutrients and macronutrients from plants. I would think that anything useful you can get from a plant, you can also get from an animal that eats that plant.

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4 Answers

5
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on April 11, 2012
at 07:06 PM

FWIW - Some animals contain animal based carotenoids which are antioxidants that many people only attribute to plants like carrots and tomatoes, but these animal based carotenoids can be much more powerful and hugely protective against oxidative stress. Usually, these carotenoids contribute to the colorful plumage of some birds like flamingoes and fish like salmon and krill. Astaxanthin is one of these carotenoids. Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds. It provides the red color of salmon meat and the red color of cooked shellfish.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 11, 2012
at 08:51 PM

But again, if it's in the algae, isn't that where the animals are getting it? I do agree though, maybe in a more concentrated, usable form.

2
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 11, 2012
at 03:24 PM

A few things come to mind: EPA/DHA, while not exclusively animal-sourced, they are found in high quantities in animal products. Carnitine, we make it ourselves, but animal products are again good sources. And of course, vitamin B12.

Also remind your vegan friend that we paleo folk arguably eat just as much nutritious vegetable matter they do, we simply forgo nutrient-sparse starches and grains.

EDIT: And choline! And taurine!

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 11, 2012
at 03:39 PM

I think fish obtain EPA/DHA from algae. I think the real argument is that animals (once you go down the food chain), get all their micronutrients and macronutrients from plants. I would think that anything useful you can get from a plant, you can also get from an animal that eats that plant.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on April 11, 2012
at 04:00 PM

@Matt - we definitely didn't argue about the fact that both of us eat better than the average population. I was actually kind of surprised to hear the phytochemical comment. Good call on the carnitine!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 11, 2012
at 04:08 PM

@greymouser, be aware also, that vegans considered phytates to be phytonutrients, paleo folk generally think otherwise. ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 11, 2012
at 04:07 PM

Mike, that's true. Animals do concentrate some nutrients (EFAs for example) into a useable amount. Lutein in chicken eggs is another example. All the more reason to eat healthy animals!

1
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 11, 2012
at 05:39 PM

It's funny how some vegans will look at meat as a missed opportunity to eat phytochemicals, because from what I've read, the fats in meat actually make phytochemicals more bioavailable.

0
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on April 11, 2012
at 03:14 PM

I would guess no because wouldn't anything that an animal has inside of it originally come from a plant it or some animal lower on the food chain ate?

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