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Mol Aspects Med. 2018 Jun;61:63-75. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2018.02.001. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Recommending flavanols and procyanidins for cardiovascular health: Revisited.

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Mars, Incorporated, 6885 Elm St, McLean, VA, 22101 USA. Electronic address:
Division of Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Vascular Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Dusseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Molecular Nutrition Group, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AP, UK.
Mars, Incorporated, 6885 Elm St, McLean, VA, 22101 USA.


The last 8 years have seen significant developments in our understanding of dietary flavanols and procyanidins in the context of human health and nutrition. During the same time, recognition of the importance of nutrition in primary disease prevention and health maintenance has increased. In addition, the concept of dietary bioactives (food constituents that although not essential to human life and procreation, may nevertheless play an important role in disease risk reduction, primary disease prevention, and healthy aging) has been created and developed. Applying assessment criteria specific to health maintenance and primary disease prevention, we aimed at broadly evaluating and discussing currently available data on flavanols and procyanidins, with an eye towards potentially advancing the future development of dietary guidelines and public health recommendations. Novel insights and advancements as well as current gaps and shortcomings in our understanding are identified and discussed. While centered on flavanols and procyanidins, the outcomes of this review may also have broader relevance for the further development of the concept of bioactives, and any future framework for the assessment of their role in human health and nutrition.

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