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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 May;67(5):532-5. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.29. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Pleiotropic preventive effects of dietary polyphenols in cardiovascular diseases.

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Institute of Environmental Science for Human Life, Ochanomizu University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Polyphenols are common constituents of the diet, and research on their health benefits has developed quickly over the past few years. Our purpose is to review recent findings highlighting daily dietary polyphenol intake and the diverse function of polyphenols and their possible relationships to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Several cohort studies have reported an inverse relationship between the daily consumption of polyphenols and CVD risk. Many studies showed that beverages could be a large source of polyphenols. Our previous findings provide that Japanese people intake polyphenols mainly from beverages, especially coffee and green tea (in descending order of polyphenol content). Many kinds of polyphenols act as an antioxidant against low-density lipoprotein oxidation, which is known to promote atherosclerosis. Recent accumulating evidence suggests that dietary polyphenols could exert their cardioprotective actions through their potential to improve metabolic disorder and vascular inflammation. These findings raise the possibility that polyphenols have a wide variety of roles in the intestine, liver and vascular tissue. In addition to identifying mechanisms of polyphenol bioactivity by basic research, much more epidemiological and clinical evidence linking reduced cardiovascular risk with dietary polyphenols intake are needed.

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