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What Are Polyphenols? And What is their Role in Disease?

 What Are Polyphenols?


A diet rich in a class of bioflavonoids, the polyphenols, may reduce the risk of chronic disease by reducing oxidative stress, according to researchers at the Sookmyung Women's University who published a study in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (22, 3:217-23, 2003) ( Based on epidemiological evidence showing dietary polyphenols reduce the risk of chronic disease, researchers compared the effects of polyphenol-rich and -depleted diets in 19 healthy, non-smoking women.

The researchers concluded diets rich in polyphenols may decrease the risk of chronic disease by reducing oxidative stress.

What are "polyphenols?" Here is an excerpt from the book, The Best Supplements For Your Health, by Don Goldberg, Arnie Gitomer, and Dr. Robert Abel, Jr., that explains what polyphenols are:



Related Items: Red wine, green tea, flavonoids.

Description: Polyphenols is a broad term encompassing over 4,000 individual compounds found in plants. It includes the flavonoids, tannins, proanthocyanidins, isoflavones, and catechins.

Uses: Epidemiolgical studies have shown that both tea consumption and the moderate intake of red wine are inversely related to the risk of heart disease. Both red wine and tea are rich in polyphenols. While the exact mechanism by which wine or tea consumption could offer protection against atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease is still under investigation, a large body of literature suggests that the presence of polyphenols in these beverages may account for the protective action.

The polyphenols in wine include phenolic acids, anthocyanins, tannins, caffeic acid, rutin, catechin, myricetin, quercetin, and epicatechin. Proanthocyanidins, polymers or oligomers of catechin units, are the major polyphenols in red wine and grape seeds. Resveratrol is a nonflavonoid polyphenol also found in red wine and grape seeds.

The polyphenols in tea include quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, catechin, epicatechin, and epigallocatechin (ECG).

The polyphenols in general have potent antioxidant activity. Many studies have shown that they may lower total cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol, and raise HDL cholesterol. They reduce platelet aggregation and have vasorelaxant effects.

Polyphenols are available in many types of supplements, from green tea and grape seed concentrates, to various flavonoid-rich mixed fruit and vegetable concentrates.

Dosage: Follow the directions on the label.


Jarrow: Resveratrol Synergy, polyphenols from resveratrol, grapeskin, grape seed, and green tea extracts, plus catechins, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanins, 60 tablets. For product information, click here. (for price and ordering info, click here)

Seagate: Grape Seed Extract. Click here for more information. (for price and ordering information, click here.)

The book, The Best Supplements For Your Health, is available at Willner Chemists.



Polyphenols May Reduce Chronic Disease Risk
Posted on: 06/17/2003

SEOUL, South Korea--A diet rich in a class of bioflavonoids, the polyphenols, may reduce the risk of chr

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