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Phytother Res. 2017 Jul;31(7):1005-1018. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5830. Epub 2017 May 11.

Polyphenols and Their Role in Obesity Management: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials.

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Department of Dietetics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6UU, UK.
Faculty of Pharmacy, Middle East University, Amman, Jordan.


Polyphenols have been suggested to reduce body weight and modify body composition through different mechanisms. These effects have been extensively studied in animals and in vitro and to a lesser extent in humans. The aim of this review is to consider the association between polyphenols and body weight status by focusing on human intervention studies. We conducted a systematic literature search in MEDLINE (via EBSCOhost), ProQuest CENTRAL, and Cochrane CENTRAL without time restrictions. Randomized controlled trials assessing the effect of polyphenols on weight and/or body composition in the overweight and/or obese population were included. Nineteen studies met our inclusion criteria. Results suggest that further research is required before supporting a potential role of polyphenols in reducing weight in overweight and obese individuals (nine studies showed a significant decrease in weight by a mean of 1.47 ± 0.58 kg). Nevertheless, several studies indicated that polyphenols might be effective in preventing small increases in weight during periods of overfeeding rather than reducing weight as such. The outcomes noted do not yet support polyphenol supplementation as a complementary approach in weight loss diets. Further larger trials with a duration of 12 months or more are needed to elucidate the effect of polyphenols on body weight status.


BMI; body fat; body weight; catechins; flavonoids; obesity; polyphenols; waist circumference

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