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Curr Pharm Des. 2019;25(32):3434-3456. doi: 10.2174/1381612825666191011093753.

Mexican Traditional Plant-Foods: Polyphenols Bioavailability, Gut Microbiota Metabolism and Impact Human Health.

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Departamento de Ciencias Quimico Biologicas, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Tecnologico Nacional de Mexico, Instituto Tecnologico de Tepic. Laboratorio Integral de Investigacion en Alimentos, Division de Estudios de Posgrado, Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.


Functional foods have been used worldwide since ancient times, particularly, the prehispanic civilizations used several plants as medicinal foods. Nowadays, many Mexicans populations preserve their traditions and dietary patterns based on corn, beans, besides other endemic vegetables, mainly diverse varieties of chili, tomatoes and other plant-foods. It is well known that each species has a special complex mixture of bioactive compounds (BC) in which each component contributes to its overall bioactivity. These BC are plant metabolites that benefit human health by means of anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory, and antioxidant effects. However, it becomes bioactive at human body when these BC must undergo diverse intestinal transformations, due to the action of digestive enzymes, but also by the action of microbiota metabolism. Thus, the intestinal microbiota is the key factor in the mediation of the physiological functions of dietary polyphenols. In fact, limited information is available, especially on dietary phytochemicals and metabolism in commonly available Mexican plant-foods. In this review, the bioaccesibility and bioavailability major BC from traditional Mexican plant-foods products and its potential health benefits will be discussed. Besides, we compile the scientific reports and the evidence of the impact of some Mexican plant-foods on the gut microbiota dynamic composition, specific microbial metabolites and its possible contributions to human health.


Bioactive compounds; food digestion; gut metabolites; mexican plant-food; microbiota; polyphenols bioaccessibility.

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