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Hum Reprod Update. 2015 Mar-Apr;21(2):228-48. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmu058. Epub 2014 Nov 5.

The effects of dietary polyphenols on reproductive health and early development.

Author information

1
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5 Chronic Disease Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9 cly032@uottawa.ca.
2
Chronic Disease Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9.
3
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6.
4
Centre for Research in Biotechnology and Biopharmaceuticals, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5.
5
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5 Chronic Disease Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9 Centre for Research in Biotechnology and Biopharmaceuticals, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5 Bruker BioSpin Corp., Billerica, MA 01821, USA.
6
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5 Chronic Disease Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9 Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8L6.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Emerging evidence from clinical and epidemiological studies suggests that dietary polyphenols play an important role in the prevention of chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. Although these beneficial health claims are supported by experimental data for many subpopulation groups, some studies purport that excessive polyphenol consumption may have negative health effects in other subpopulations. The ever-growing interest and public awareness surrounding the potential benefits of natural health products and polyphenols, in addition to their widespread availability and accessibility through nutritional supplements and fortified foods, has led to increased consumption throughout gestation. Therefore, understanding the implications of polyphenol intake on obstetrical health outcomes is of utmost importance with respect to safe consumption during pregnancy.

METHODS:

Using relevant keywords, a literature search was performed to gather information regarding polyphenol pharmacology and the molecular mechanisms by which polyphenols exert their biological effects. The primary focus of this paper is to understand the relevance of these findings in the context of reproductive physiology and medicine.

RESULTS:

Evidence from both in vitro experiments and in vivo studies using animals and humans demonstrates that polyphenols regulate key targets related to oxidative stress, inflammation and advanced glycation end products. Although the majority of these studies have been conducted in the context of chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, several of the key targets influenced by polyphenols are also related to a variety of obstetrical complications, including pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth. Polyphenols have also been shown to influence fertility and sexual development, fetal health and the bioavailability of nutrients.

CONCLUSIONS:

Further research leading to a thorough understanding of the physiological roles and potential clinical value that polyphenol consumption may play in pregnancy is urgently needed to help inform patient safety.

KEYWORDS:

beneficial and adverse effects; molecular targets; polyphenols; pregnancy; reproduction

PMID:
25376587
DOI:
10.1093/humupd/dmu058
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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