Uncertainties prevail over human health benefits of polyphenols

July 7, 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: Treatments of hot water with calcium found effective for kiwifruit

Related Stories

More flavorful, healthful chocolate could be on its way

March 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: Researchers ...

New tests count total phenolics in fruits and veggies

January 5, 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 new analytical ...

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

June 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 surprising find, ...

A new approach to treating peanut and other food allergies

May 14, 2014

These days, more and more people seem to have food allergies, which can sometimes have life-threatening consequences. In ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report the development of a new type of ...

Recommended for you

0 comments

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.