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Terpenes are a diverse group of organic compounds derived from a Terpenes 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasnsubstance that contain vitamin B5. Triterpenes are a subclass of terpenes.


Subtypes of terpenes include monoterpenes (geraniol, limonene, and terpineol), diterpenes (cafestol, cembrene and taxadiene), triterpenes (ambrein, ganoderic acid, ziziphin, cucurbitacins, and sequalene), tetraterpenes (lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and gamma-carotene), sesquiterpenes, sesterterpenes, and sesquarterpenes.

Food Sources:

Fruits: jujube, lemon, lime, mango, olive, and watermelon.

Vegetables: dill, reishi mushroom, squash, and sweet potatoes.

Health Benefits:

  1. They are potent antioxidants.
  2. Demonstrate anti-inflammatory activities.
  3. Enhance the immune system.
  4. Have anti-cancer properties.
  5. Ganoderic acid has an anti-cancer activity against liver cancer. It also decreases conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterne (DHT).
  6. Show analgesic and aphrodisiac effects (ambrein).
  7. Increases liver glutathione level.
  8. Have ability to trap and neutralize benzopyrenes, cancer-inducing compounds found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes, and charcoal grill smoke.