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Functional Foods and Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease:
Modern and Medieval Approaches

31st International Conference of FFC - 19th International Symposium of ASFFBC

October 1-3, 2023, The Matenadaran, Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, Research Institute in Yerevan, Armenia
In-Person and Virtual/Live Online Event


Dr. Vahan Ter-Ghevondian's Welcome Letter

   

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to invite you to join us for the 31st International Conference of FFC - 19th International Symposium of ASFFBC scheduled for October 1-3, 2023 at the The Matenadaran, Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, Research Institute in Yerevan, Armenia.

The topic of the forthcoming conference including session on "Armenian alternative and traditional medicine, functional food and bioactive active compounds" is very topical. Let us state that from this point of view, in the treasury of ancient medieval Armenian medicine, we have a huge amount of accumulated material of thousands of years of oral and written experience and knowledge of many 

generations of medieval Armenian doctors discussing the healing properties of flora and fauna and minerals of Armenia. Today, Armenian manuscripts of medical, pharmacological and phytosanitary nature of the Mashtots Matenadaran, as well as a number of foreign manuscripts, can be used as a source of study.

The originality of the Armenian traditional-alternative medicine is conditioned by the existence of such medicinal products of plant-animal origin, which are specific only to the Armenian nature, conditioned by the diversity and originality of the Armenian highlands.

From ancient times, a number of mineral remedies attesting to the Armenian origin (Armenian clay "Bolus armena", Armenian stone "Pietra armena", Armenian ammonia "Ammonium armena") were known to the greats of the ancient world, Byzantine and Arabic medicine (Hippocrates) , Galenos, Dioscorides, Pliny the Elder, Hayetsius Amidatsi, etc.), who have repeatedly referred to the healing power of these remedies in their works.

Many of these medicines, according to modern medicine, are rich in essential oils, containing the alkaloids glucosides, flavonoids, saponins, hormone-like compounds, enzymes and vitamins. These natural remedies have a specific anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antipyretic, anti-allergic, broncholytic, antispasmodic, analgesic, biliary effect. Undoubtedly, many of these remedies should be in the focus of modern pharmacists-herbalists for further experimental-clinical research.

The quantum theory of functional food science provides information about the critical amount needed for a bioactive compound to create chain reactions in the body that create beneficial effects on health. It is also used to determine the critical amounts of bioactive compounds at which they create toxic effects. Armenian medicines are rich in multiple bioactive compounds and contain their critical amounts which is why they have the health promoting effects listed above.

In Armenian alternative-traditional medicine, the considerations related to the diet, which responded to the recommendations of modern medicine, are very topical, which, of course, was aimed at preventing diseases, according to medieval Armenian physicians, "keeping the person strong and strong". Based on this starting point, our doctors have compiled the diet and eating habits based on the individual characteristics of the body, taking into account the age of the person (young people need more saturated food than adults), season (add bread and meat in winter, reduce vegetables, fewer meats (lots of vegetables and fruits).

One possible consideration. Medieval Armenian physicians considered food not only as a means of nutrition, but also as a remedy, which plays an active role in the biological functions of the organism. Moreover, targeted nutrition is prescribed for febrile-acute infectious diseases, guided by the qualitative features of the food, the ability to be digested, absorbed into the blood, factors that are essential for the metabolism, the normal biological functions of the body.

And, of course, the above-mentioned issues force us to reflect on the centuries-old experience of Armenian traditional medicine, especially in the treatment of diseases (allergies, malignancies, skin diseases), the problem of which modern medicine has not yet solved.

I look forward to welcoming you to Yerevan, Armenia in October 2023.

Dr. Vahan Ter-Ghevondian, Director of the Matenadaran 

Scientific Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots,

Yerevan, Armenia

Conference Co-Chair