All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

History of Plant Studies: 

In the centuries following the time of Aristotle and his students, who made the first philosophical attempts to understand plants in their complexity, interest in herb plants was limited mainly to their medical usage. This changed in the sixteenth century when the first biological attempts were done to understand the basic principles of structure and function of plants. At first, studies were largely devoted to plant distribution, taxonomy, and morphology. Later, taking the lead from medicine, anatomy and cytology of plants were added to the curriculum of plant sciences, as studied in the early universities.

In fact, the cellular nature of living organisms was first elaborated using plants (Hooke 1665). By the end of the 19th century, it was realised that plants were even more similar to animals than had been thought hitherto.

  • For their reproduction, plants use identical sexual processes.
  • Plants attacked by pathogens develop immunity, using the corresponding processes and mechanisms in animals.
  • Both animals and plants use the same molecules and pathways to drive their circadian rhythms.

Critical mass of new data has been accumulated, culminating in the emergence of plant neurobiology.

Plants are intelligent organisms, which perform complex information processing. The word "neuron" was taken by animal neurobiologists from Greek where the original meaning of this word is vegetal fibre.

Auxin emerges as a plant-specific neurotransmitter. Roots are specialized not only for the uptake of nutrients, but also seem to support neuronal-like activities based on plant synapses. Vascular elements allow the rapid spread of hydraulic signals and action potentials, resembling nerves. Plants are capable of learning and make decisions about their future activities according to the actual environmental conditions. It is obvious that they possess a complex apparatus for the storage and processing of information.

Isaac Asimov

Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.

Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score

The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) has been adopted by FAO/WHO as the preferred method for the measurement of the protein value in human nutrition. 

PDCAAS = Amino Acid Score x Digestibility

The method is based on comparison of the concentration of the first limiting essential amino acid in the test protein with the concentration of that amino acid in a reference (scoring) pattern. This scoring pattern is derived from the essential amino acid requirements of the preschool-age child.

Although the principle of the PDCAAS method has been widely accepted, critical questions have been raised in the scientific community:

  1. the validity of the preschool-age child amino acid requirement values (more than 4 times greater than the EAA requirement for an adult),
  2. the validity of correction for fecal instead of ileal digestibility,
  3. the truncation of PDCAAS values to 100%.

The reference scoring pattern was based on studies performed more than 25 years ago on a limited number of 2-year-old children recovering from malnutrition.

According to the current official recommendations, a 2-year old child needs ~ 3x higher essential-to-non-essential amino acid ratio, and needs essential amino acids in different proportions than adult. Methionine/cysteine is the limiting essential amino acids for adults, and for children it is lysine or tryptophan.

The use of fecal digestibility overestimates the nutritional value of a protein because amino acid nitrogen entering the colon is lost for protein synthesis in the body and is, at least in part, excreted in urine as ammonia.

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