Uncertainties prevail over human health benefits of polyphenols

Jul 07, 2008

Despite scores of studies documenting the effects of healthful plant nutrients called polyphenols in protecting nerves from damage, it would be "unwise" to assume that the same protective effects occur for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other human disorders, a new report concludes. It is scheduled for the July 9 issue of ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the report, Charles Ramassamy and colleagues in Canada analyzed the results of more than 200 laboratory and animal studies on these materials, found in fruits, vegetables, wine, chocolate, coffee, tea, and other foods. They found abundant evidence that polyphenols do, indeed, protect nerves from the kind of damage that occurs in AD and other chronic brain disorders.

The researchers concluded, however, that "it is not at all clear whether these compounds reach the brain in sufficient concentrations and in a biologically active form to exert beneficial effects." Resolving those uncertainties will take years of additional research, they say in the report, which includes a list of the 50 foods containing the highest amounts of polyphenols.

Source: ACS

Explore further: Researchers develop a novel device to image the minute forces and actions involved in cell membrane hemifusion

Related Stories

More flavorful, healthful chocolate could be on its way

Mar 24, 2015

Chocolate has many health benefits—it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk. But just as connoisseurs thought it couldn't get any better, there's this tasty new tidbit: ...

New tests count total phenolics in fruits and veggies

Jan 05, 2015

Agricultural Research Service investigators have a long history of designing and developing reliable analytical methods for measuring nutrients and other compounds in foods. ARS scientists have now devised ...

White bread helps boost some of the gut's 'good' microbes

Jun 11, 2014

White-bread lovers take heart. Scientists are now reporting that this much-maligned food seems to encourage the growth of some of our most helpful inhabitants—beneficial gut bacteria. In addition to this ...

Recommended for you

New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier

12 hours ago

We live in fear of 'superbugs': infectious bacteria that don't respond to treatment by antibiotics, and can turn a routine hospital stay into a nightmare. A 2015 Health Canada report estimates that superbugs have already cost Canadians $1 billion, and are a "serious and growing issue." Each year two million people in the U.S. contract antibiotic-re ...

Researchers find 'decoder ring' powers in micro RNA

14 hours ago

MicroRNA can serve as a "decoder ring" for understanding complex biological processes, a team of New York University chemists has found. Their study, which appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, points ...

DNA mutations get harder to hide

17 hours ago

Rice University researchers have developed a method to detect rare DNA mutations with an approach hundreds of times more powerful than current methods.

Use your smartphone for biosensing

19 hours ago

An Australian research team has shown that smartphones can be reconfigured as cost-effective, portable bioanalytical devices, with details reported in the latest edition of the Open Access Journal 'Sensors'.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.