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Certain compounds classified as ``non-essential'' nutrients nonetheless perform beneficial biochemical functions in humans. This volume presents some of the latest research findings on the importance of selected nutrients for protecting against harmful environmental substances and against disease. Topics covered include function of beta-carotene as a provitamin activity, source of retinol, protection against harmful effects of light, oxygen and photosensitizing pigments, and inhibitor or delayer of tumor development. Also discussed are di-homo-gamma linolenic and gamma-linolenic acids and related compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, and taurine, which is a multifunctional, conditionally essential nutrient. Closing chapters enumerate the salubrious properties of dietary fibre, and consider a group of lesser studied compounds such as those found in garlic--which exhibit beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and other systems--not to mention their deleterious effects on vampires.
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