Dietary intake of polyphenols is associated with a longer life
After many decades of research in the field of dietary supplements and hollistic nutrition, a clearer picture of the plant group known as polyphenols is emerging. Evidence points to an increase in lifespan as a result of frequent polyphenol consumption in amounts over 650mg/day. This was the conclusion of a study at the University of Barcelona in which polyphenols were associated with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults.
Other studies have also demonstrated significant benefits from polyphenol intake, including boosting of the immune system, antiviral effects as in the case of Haschberg elderberry, cardiovascular, digestive and cognitive benefits. (the-berry-room.com has an extensive collection of health-related articles on polyphenol-rich fruits).
Polyphenols are a large group of compounds but the most beneficial to health are:
Flavonoids: A groups of plant pigments. Notable flavonoids and examples include:
- Anthocaynidins: cyanidin, delphinidin, pelargonidin. When anthocyanidins are coupled to sugars, anthocyanins are formed e.g. cyanidin-3-glucoside.
- Flavan-3-ols : Proanthocyanidins, Catechins
- Flavonols : Quercetin, Kaempferol, Myricetin, Isorhamnetin
Other sub-groups of flavonoids with less potent health benefits include:
- Flavones: Tangeretin, Luteolin
- Flavanonols: Taxifolin
- Flavanones: Hesperetin, Naringenin
Phenolic acids: These are non-flavonoid polyphenolic acids and can be divided into two main groups:
- benzoic acid derivatives: Protocatechuic acid, Vanillic acid, Gallic acid, and
- cinnamic acid derivatives: Chlorogenic acid, Ferulic acid, p-Coumaric acid, Caffeic acid.
Polyphenolic amides, are polyphenols which have nitrogen-containing groups. An example will be Capsaicinoids (for example capsaicin) which are responsible for the fiery hotness of chili peppers.
Other polyphenols with significance to human health which don´t fall under any of the listed groups above include: Resveratrol (grapes and red wine), ellagic acid (berries)
There is little doubt that polyphenols initiate physiological changes in the human body, hence why there is a consensus among scientists that their intake should be encouraged.
Comprehensive scientific review documents for the health benefits of various standardized polyphenol ingredients can be requested here: firstname.lastname@example.org