Plants & Human Health Benefits

Plants & Human Health Benefits

Plants & Human Health Benefits (AgroHealth)

This pathway is dedicated to plants with health value.

It proposes 6 specific training Units:
  • Agronomy of Plants with Health Value (P-GD)
  • Development of Plant-Based Food-Supplements
  • Pharmacology of Plants with Health Value (P-GD)
  • Phytochemistry of Active Substances – Theory
  • Phytochemistry of Active Substances – Practical Training
  • Physiological Effects of Food Supplement (P-GD soon)

P-GD: The training unit is open to professionals in continuing education programs and as an all-distance learning unit allowing leading to a Postgraduated Diploma

The training program includes teaching input from professionals. It also organizes collaborative projects involving both professionals and students.
At the end of the Master program, students will be able to apply for PhD programs in research laboratories in the fields of phytochemistry, health issues and plant research.

Students will be also able to:

1 - Carry out industrial research and development programs for the food and para-pharmaceutical industries.
2 - Work with functional foods and with food supplements.
3 - Select plants of industrial value.
4 - Advise farmers on the production of plants with health value.
5 - Work for food safety agencies.
6 - Work for extraction companies
7 - Work in the analytical control of plants and food supplements.
8 - Work for companies developing new natural substances with health effects.

Teaching Pathways

Plant & human health benefits

This pathway is proposed by:

  • Stéphanie Cluzet Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the University of Bordeaux
  • Catherine Bennetau Professor in Animal Sciences and Nutrition and Health in Bordeaux Sciences Agro and in the University of Bordeaux.

Context, positioning and aims of the pathway


Throughout their evolution, plants have developed many adaptation strategies to resist environmental pressures. Among these strategies, the production of defense molecules is being increasingly studied as it appears that these molecules can exhibit either health beneficial or deleterious health for humans. The world food supplement industry which uses plants of health value currently represents nowadays, a market of $200 billions a year and €14 billions in Europe. This industry develops in all industrialized countries with the highest consumers being USA and Asia. Food supplement regulations are harmonized in EU but not at the global level and market opportunities can be different according to the country. In France a nutria-vigilance unit has been created. It has shown that food supplements are responsible for the majority of adverse effects recorded so far.

Aims of the pathway:

To provide training for students of different origins on plants with health benefits for human and cattle, extending from the plant culture conditions through to the active compounds. It proposes a multidisciplinary overview of bioactive molecules by giving insights into:

  • Analytical chemistry and extractionPlant & human health benefits
  • Plant and human metabolomics
  • Plant physiology and plant biomolecular activities
  • Human metabolism and bioavailability of active substances
  • Toxicology and ecotoxicology of plant extracts with no adverse effect doses, and acceptable daily intakes
  • Study strategy of active substances via in vitro screening,
  • Biological data interpretation
  • Biomolecule usages for active food, food supplements and parapharmacy

Innovative and ambitious nature of the pathway:

Training students to produce high-quality food-supplements through academic teaching and by improving their knowledge of regulation. The pathway favors the creation of networks linking academic students and professionals: i.e. health practitioners, food supplement suppliers, and biomolecule industry operators via:

  • Lectures and conferences given by professionals
  • Three programs are available to professionals on continuing vocational training courses using all-distance learning methods and tools. They include all-distance collaborative projects involving students of different origins.

Pathway organization and resources / Training program

Pathway organization and resources

When indicated by a picture, the training unit is also available to professionals to obtain a Post-Graduate Diploma either in English or in French.

The pedagogic team includes medics, pharmacists and science lecturers from the University of Bordeaux and from Bordeaux Sciences Agro and professionals and scientists for different places in France. The team is listed in the time table.

Training Program:

M1S1 Unit Agronomy of Plants with Health Benefits for food supplements and cosmetics

(AgroHealth: open in English as post-graduate diploma)

Introductive Video
  • 4 thematic lecture weeks
    • Cultivation Operations on Plants with Health Value (12 hours)
    • Biodiversity of Plants with Health Value (12 hours)
    • Standardization of Plants with Health Value (12 hours)
    • Sustainability of the Production of Plants with Health Value (12 hours)

Lectures + Tutored personal work: (document creation, document analysis, all-distance collaborative project)
Leaflet English Post-graduate Diploma. Agronomy of plants with health benefits (for food supplements and cosmetics)

M1S2 Unit Active Substances Development (DevelopActif)

  • 4 topics
    • Industrial Development and Galenic Forms
    • Clinical trial Methodology
    • Active Mechanisms of Biomolecules with Health Effects
    • Metabolites of Industrial Interest

Lectures + personal work

M1S2 Unit Food Supplement: Safety, Efficiency, Innovation

(HealthActive: open in French as University Diploma)

Introductive Video
  • 4 thematic lecture weeks
    • Digestion of Biomolecules with Health Value
    • Metabolism and Metabolomics of Biomolecules with Health Effects
    • Toxicology and Ecotoxicology of Biomolecules with Health Effects
    • Metabolites of Industrial Interest

Lectures + Tutored personal work: (document creation, document analysis, all-distance collaborative project)
Leaflet French University Diploma: Food Supplement: Safety, Efficiency, Innovation

M2S1 Unit Theoretical Phytochemistry (PhytoMetab)

  • 8 topics
    • Extraction Technology / Fractionation and Purification
    • Introduction to structural analysis / Modelization of Molecular Interactions
    • Analytical Techniques and Methods Validation
    • Bioavailability, pharmacokinetics / Enzyme Metabolism
    • Toxicology

Lectures + personal work

M2S1 Unit Practical Phytochemistry (PhytoTP)

  • 6 practical sessions
    • Extraction and Fractionation
    • Purification and Isolation
    • Identification of general reactions
    • Chromatography Analysis
    • Determination of Molecular Structures
    • In vitro Biological Activities

Practical training with personal work

M2S1 Unit Physiological Effects of Food Supplements (PhytoActive)

PhytoActive: Not yet open as Post-graduate diploma.

Introductive Video
  • 4 thematic weeks
    • Quality and Safety of Dietary Supplement
    • Health and Well-being
    • Ageing
    • Food and Drug Interactions of Natural Substances

Lectures + Tutored personal work: (document creation, document analysis, all-distance collaborative project)