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.

Albert Schweitzer

A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans, a water-soluble vitamin. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C, so it is an essential dietary component. 

  • Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (an essential component of connective tissue), L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters, it is also involved in protein metabolism.
  • Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E by reducing vitamin E radicals formed when vitamin E scavenges the oxygen radicals. 
  • Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.

Approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30–180 mg a day. At doses above 1 g a day, absorption falls to less than 50% and absorbed, unmetabolized ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine. 

Insufficient vitamin C intake causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue or lassitude, connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.

Cells accumulate vitamin C. The total body content of vitamin C ranges from 300 mg (at near scurvy) to about 2 g.

  • High levels of vitamin C are maintained in cells and tissues, and are highest in leukocytes (white blood cells), eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and brain.
  • Relatively low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids, such as plasma, red blood cells, and saliva.

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