Everything You Need To Know About Polyphenols

Everything You Need To Know About Polyphenols

By CANDICE GREY

ConsumersCompare.org Staff

Updated on May 03, 2022

What Are Polyphenols?

Polyphenols are one of the most abundant micronutrients in our diet and have shown evidence in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and metabolic disorders. They can be found in fruits, vegetables, grains, tea, essential oils and their derived foods and beverages. The active health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and absorbed into the body. [1] [2] [3]

Polyphenols commonly found in foods can be divided into various groups:

Phenolic acids are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. They absorb easily through the intestinal tract walls and are abundant in diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Flavonoids have been used in recent years to explain the health benefits of diets rich in fruits and vegetables. Powerful antioxidants, they also have anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.

Stilbenes—most notably resveratrol—are found in grape skins, red wine, peanuts, blueberries, and cranberries. Resveratrol has been studied for its potential benefits in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, but the full effect really isn’t known and resveratrol has been a bit over-hyped.

Lignans mimic the effects of estrogen in the body—the heart, brain, liver, bones, and reproductive organs. They can also block the effects of the body’s own natural estrogen, working as a possible treatment or preventative for breast cancer. But they can also have negative effects on other hormone-related conditions like ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or pregnancy, so always check with your doctor before increasing your intake.

Ellagic acids appear to have anti-cancer properties, particularly against prostate cancer. There may also be evidence of their benefit as anti-inflammatory in the fatty tissues and in obesity-related diseases, and as an aid in decreasing the rate of glucose entry into the bloodstream.

back to menu ↑

4 Interesting Facts About Polyphenols

  1. Anthocyanins (a flavonoid that pigments fruits and vegetables) may improve our visual capacity
  2. Some polyphenols exert anti-diarrheal and antiulcer activities
  3. Cooking, processing, or even peeling can affect the concentration of polyphenols in plant foods; raw, unpeeled, whole foods contain the highest levels
  4. It is recommended to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
back to menu ↑

In Which Foods Can We Find Polyphenols? [1] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Polyphenol CategoryFoods Found In
Phenolic acidsblack tea, coffee, fruits, peppermint, raw chestnut, red wine, rosemary, sage (dried), thyme, vegetables, whole grains
 

 

Flavonoids

Apples (unpeeled), apricots (unpeeled), beer, black rice, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, some cereal grains, chilli peppers, chocolate, citrus fruit, eggplant (aubergine), grapes, green beans, kale, mint, oats, onions, parsley, peaches, pears, radishes, red wine, strawberries, soybeans (isoflavones sole source), many spices, tea, tomatoes
 

 

Stilbenes

grape skins, red wine, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries
 

 

Lignans

flax seeds, many whole grains, sesame seeds, soybeans (edamame) and soy products
Ellagic acidsWalnuts, pecans, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries
back to menu ↑

Health Benefits of Polyphenols

Antioxidant Activity

Several studies have reported the important roles of dietary polyphenols in human health. A high intake of food rich in polyphenols such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, has been associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation and many degenerative diseases.  Recent studies have shown that many of these diseases are associated with oxidative stress, which  can damage cells. [1] [8] [10] [11] [12]

 Effect on Human Gut Microflora

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reported that some doses of selected polyphenols might change the composition of gut microflora (the term refers to not only gut bacteria, which we hear about a lot, but other microorganisms in the digestive system as well). [13]

While certain bacterial groups can be repressed, others may grow in the accessible niche of the ecosystem. It has been also reported that a significant portion of consumed dietary flavonoids not absorbed in the small intestine are degraded by the microflora in the colon into simple phenolic acids which can be then absorbed into the circulatory system. Once in the large intestine, flavonoids can influence the microflora and impact gut health by selecting probiotic bacteria or inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. [2]

Anti-Diabetic Actions of Flavonoids

Epidemiological, animal and in-vitro studies reported the anti-diabetic effects of some flavonoids. Dietary flavonoids apply their anti-diabetic effects by targeting various cell signaling pathways in pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle and white adipose (fat) tissue.  A long-term study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition  has shown that consumption of soy isoflavones is related to the reduction of type 2 diabetes risk in US men and women. [7]

Polyphenols and Osteoporosis

The literature has reported a relationship between tea consumption and the prevention of age-related bone loss in elderly women and men. The consumption of green tea and green tea bioactive compounds may be beneficial in alleviating bone loss in this population and reducing their risk of osteoporotic fractures.

Another study done with obese people demonstrated that a consumption of 379 mg of green tea extract had beneficial effects on body mass index, lipid profile, and total antioxidant status on the patients. [14]

A high intake of freeze-dried strawberries (50g/day) may exert positive effects in lowering serum total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. [15]

back to menu ↑

Are Polyphenols Ever Bad For You?

In general, polyphenols are good for you, but the dose intake and health status should be considered before consumption.

For example: Grapefruit juice is explicitly avoided or limited in conjunction with certain medications, because it can affect the amount of medication absorbed into the bloodstream. A sample scenario would be if you drink a lot of grapefruit juice and take certain statin drugs for lowering your cholesterol. If too much of the drug stays in your bloodstream, you risk damaging your liver and initiating muscle breakdown, which can lead to kidney failure. [9]

Always check with your physician about medication interactions and before making changes to your diet.

Polyphenols can have some negative effects:

  • Some flavonoids can inhibit thyroid hormone biosynthesis (the body process which builds complex structures from simple ones) and function.
  • A high intake of soy isoflavones can reduce fertility and retard sexual maturation.
  • Polyphenols can also show anti-nutritional effects by reducing the body’s supply of minerals such as iron. [9]

Several studies also show the dose-response effect. A study done on rats indicated that a diet containing a high dose (1 percent) of green tea polyphenols can negatively affect liver and kidney function  while a dose between 0.01–0.1 percent doesn’t change their functions. [16]

Consumption of a diet with high-flavanol cocoa (902 mg flavanols) by obese and overweight people has shown an improvement in the circulatory system, but did not enhance the effects of exercise on body fat and fat metabolism on these subjects. The low dose of flavanol cocoa (36 mg flavanols) does not have any effect. Nevertheless, these authors said, “high-flavanol cocoa may be useful for reducing cardio-metabolic risk factors in this population.” [17]

back to menu ↑

The Takeaway

The positive effects of the consumption of polyphenols on our health is largely recognized. Polyphenols can be found in food like fruits, vegetables, legumes, coffee, wine, and tea, that are common in our daily diet. Therefore, it is easy to include them in our daily meals in order to benefit from their health properties.

Top Rated
Weight Loss Solutions in 2022

#1 Rated Diet Program #1 Rated Diet Pill #1 Rated Online Diet Plan



How does it work?
How does it work? Follow 30 to 90 day weight loss program, while taking PS1000 Metabolic Burst supplement. PS1000 allows you to lose more weight and reach goals faster than most on weight loss programs. Fat burner, fat blocker, appetite suppressant, and energy booster in one pill. Use it alone or in combination with an eating plan. Best diet pill on a market. Perfectly portioned and convenient meals take the guesswork out of the successful weight loss.
Who is it for?
Who is it for? People who are dedicated in making lifestyle changes, learn healthy eating habits and want to use diet supplement to help speed up the process. People who want help to curb their appetite, get more energy, and burn more fat. People who want to cook their own meals and learn healthy eating habits.
BENEFITS
BENEFITS
  • Best diet supplement
  • Customizable menus
  • Good quality food
  • Meals are tasty
  • Support community
  • Flexibility in food choices
  • Mobilizes fat for fuel
  • Fast results
  • Burns stored fat
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Best weight loss pill
  • Burns stored fat
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Blocks fat production
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Free shipping
  • Best weight loss program
  • Fully customizable
  • Huge recipe database
  • Support community
  • Great weight loss results
  • Low price
DRAWBACKS
DRAWBACKS
  • Must prep Food
  • Must eat 5 times a day
  • Contains caffeine
  • Ships only to certain countries
  • No shortcuts
  • Lack of maintenance plan
Includes supplement
Includes supplement
Food Recipes
Food Recipes
Health Coaches
Health Coaches
Phone support
Phone support
Email Support
Email Support
Price
Price $1.87/day $69.95 $1.99/to start

*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.

This content is strictly the opinion of ConsumersCompare.org and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither ConsumersCompare.org nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Read full Medical Disclaimer here.

 ConsumersCompare.org
Compare items
  • Reviews,774 (0)
Compare