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Polyphenols: Extraction Methods, Antioxidative Action, Bioavailability and Anticarcinogenic Effects

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      Abstract

      Being secondary plant metabolites, polyphenols represent a large and diverse group of substances abundantly present in a majority of fruits, herbs and vegetables. The current contribution is focused on their bioavailability, antioxidative and anticarcinogenic properties. An overview of extraction methods is also given, with supercritical fluid extraction highlighted as a promising eco-friendly alternative providing exceptional separation and protection from degradation of unstable polyphenols. The protective role of polyphenols against reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, UV light, plant pathogens, parasites and predators results in several beneficial biological activities giving rise to prophylaxis or possibly even to a cure for several prevailing human diseases, especially various cancer types. Omnipresence, specificity of the response and the absence of or low toxicity are crucial advantages of polyphenols as anticancer agents. The main problem represents their low bioavailability and rapid metabolism. One of the promising solutions lies in nanoformulation of polyphenols that prevents their degradation and thus enables significantly higher concentrations to reach the target cells. Another, more practiced, solution is the use of mixtures of various polyphenols that bring synergistic effects, resulting in lowering of the required therapeutic dose and in multitargeted action. The combination of polyphenols with existing drugs and therapies also shows promising results and significantly reduces their toxicity.

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      Most cited references 133

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      Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability.

      Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. The health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability. In this article, the nature and contents of the various polyphenols present in food sources and the influence of agricultural practices and industrial processes are reviewed. Estimates of dietary intakes are given for each class of polyphenols. The bioavailability of polyphenols is also reviewed, with particular focus on intestinal absorption and the influence of chemical structure (eg, glycosylation, esterification, and polymerization), food matrix, and excretion back into the intestinal lumen. Information on the role of microflora in the catabolism of polyphenols and the production of some active metabolites is presented. Mechanisms of intestinal and hepatic conjugation (methylation, glucuronidation, sulfation), plasma transport, and elimination in bile and urine are also described. Pharmacokinetic data for the various polyphenols are compared. Studies on the identification of circulating metabolites, cellular uptake, intracellular metabolism with possible deconjugation, biological properties of the conjugated metabolites, and specific accumulation in some target tissues are discussed. Finally, bioavailability appears to differ greatly between the various polyphenols, and the most abundant polyphenols in our diet are not necessarily those that have the best bioavailability profile. A thorough knowledge of the bioavailability of the hundreds of dietary polyphenols will help us to identify those that are most likely to exert protective health effects.
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        Cancer chemoprevention with dietary phytochemicals.

        Chemoprevention refers to the use of agents to inhibit, reverse or retard tumorigenesis. Numerous phytochemicals derived from edible plants have been reported to interfere with a specific stage of the carcinogenic process. Many mechanisms have been shown to account for the anticarcinogenic actions of dietary constituents, but attention has recently been focused on intracellular-signalling cascades as common molecular targets for various chemopreventive phytochemicals.
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          Dietary polyphenols and the prevention of diseases.

          Polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidants in the diet and are widespread constituents of fruits, vegetables, cereals, dry legumes, chocolate, and beverages, such as tea, coffee, or wine. Experimental studies on animals or cultured human cell lines support a role of polyphenols in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, or osteoporosis. However, it is very difficult to predict from these results the effects of polyphenol intake on disease prevention in humans. One of the reasons is that these studies have often been conducted at doses or concentrations far beyond those documented in humans. The few clinical studies on biomarkers of oxidative stress, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and tumor or bone resorption biomarkers have often led to contradictory results. Epidemiological studies have repeatedly shown an inverse association between the risk of myocardial infarction and the consumption of tea and wine or the intake level of some particular flavonoids, but no clear associations have been found between cancer risk and polyphenol consumption. More human studies are needed to provide clear evidence of their health protective effects and to better evaluate the risks possibly resulting from too high a polyphenol consumption.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Chemical Thermodynamics, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor, Smetanova ulica 17, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia; eva.spaninger@ 123456um.si
            [2 ]Laboratory of Separation Processes and Product Design, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Maribor, Smetanova ulica 17, SI-2000 Maribor, Slovenia; masa.knez@ 123456um.si (M.K.H.); mojca.skerget@ 123456um.si (M.Š.)
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: zeljko.knez@ 123456um.si (Ž.K.); urban.bren@ 123456um.si (U.B.); Tel.: +386-2-2294-431 (Ž.K.); +386-2-2294-421 (U.B.)
            [†]

            These authors contributed equally to this work.

            Contributors
            Role: Academic Editor
            Journal
            Molecules
            Molecules
            molecules
            Molecules
            MDPI
            1420-3049
            11 July 2016
            July 2016
            : 21
            : 7
            27409600
            6273793
            10.3390/molecules21070901
            molecules-21-00901
            (Academic Editor)
            © 2016 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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