Plant polyphenols: how to translate their in vitro antioxidant actions to in vivo conditions
Sommaire de l'article
Epidemiological evidence demonstrates that diets rich in fruit and vegetables promote health, and attenuate, or delay, the onset of various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and several other age-related degenerative disorders. The chemical components and the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which fruit and vegetables reduce the risk for these pathophysiological conditions are matters of intense investigation. Regarding plant components, polyphenols are a group of phytochemicals that are gaining acceptance as responsible for the health benefits offered by fruit and vegetables. Because of their chemical structure, plant polyphenols are able to scavenge free radicals and inactivate other pro-oxidants. The connection of these chemical properties to a physiological antioxidant action has triggered extensive research aimed to relate the consumption of plant polyphenols with human health. Although significant progress has been made, there are still some critical areas that need to be elucidated to arrive at definitive conclusions on the mechanisms linking plant polyphenol consumption, reduction in oxidative damage, and health improvement. Some of these topics will be discussed in this review of alternative molecular mechanisms, based on polyphenol-membranes and polyphenol-proteins interactions that develop in an antioxidant protection but are not directly related to free radical scavenging or metal chelating. IUBMB Life, 59: 308-315, 2007.