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Biochem Pharmacol. 2006 Nov 30;72(11):1439-52. Epub 2006 Aug 21.

Regulation of inflammation and redox signaling by dietary polyphenols.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Medicine, Division of Lung Biology and Disease, University of Rochester Medical Center, MRBX 3.11106, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 850, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a key role in enhancing the inflammation through the activation of NF-kappaB and AP-1 transcription factors, and nuclear histone acetylation and deacetylation in various inflammatory diseases. Such undesired effects of oxidative stress have been found to be controlled by the antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory effects of dietary polyphenols such as curcumin (diferuloylmethane, a principal component of turmeric) and resveratrol (a flavonoid found in red wine). The phenolic compounds in fruits, vegetables, tea and wine are mostly derivatives, and/or isomers of flavones, isoflavones, flavonols, catechins, tocopherols, and phenolic acids. Polyphenols modulate important cellular signaling processes such as cellular growth, differentiation and host of other cellular features. In addition, they modulate NF-kappaB activation, chromatin structure, glutathione biosynthesis, nuclear redox factor (Nrf2) activation, scavenge effect of ROS directly or via glutathione peroxidase activity and as a consequence regulate inflammatory genes in macrophages and lung epithelial cells. However, recent data suggest that dietary polyphenols can work as modifiers of signal transduction pathways to elicit their beneficial effects. The effects of polyphenols however, have been reported to be more pronounced in vitro using high concentrations which are not physiological in vivo. This commentary discusses the recent data on dietary polyphenols in the control of signaling and inflammation particularly during oxidative stress, their metabolism and bioavailability.

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