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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;24(2):220-5. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2012.09.009. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Gut metabotypes govern health effects of dietary polyphenols.

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Laboratory for Bioinformatics and Computational Genomics (Biobix), Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University-UGent, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


Polyphenols are thought to be responsible for some of the health effects conferred by a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Both the formation of bioactive polyphenol-derived metabolites and the modulation of colonic microbiota contribute to these health benefits. Therefore, one cannot infer biological responses from dietary intake records without considering polyphenol-microbiota interactions. However, the latter are complex and subject to large interindividual variability, leading to different polyphenol-metabolizing phenotypes or 'metabotypes'. Based on accurate measurements of intake, exposure and effect on carefully selected samples, the physiological relevance of dietary polyphenols can be evaluated for each metabotype. Ultimately, this will lead to predictive modeling and the development of (personalized) functional foods and other nutraceuticals with maximized health benefits.

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