Breaking News on Supplements & Nutrition - EuropeUS edition

Headlines > Research

Better together: Polyphenol may have greater bioavailability in combo with others

Post a commentBy Sarah Hills , 18-Jun-2014
Last updated on 18-Jun-2014 at 10:33 GMT

Polyphenols may have greater bioavailability when they are ingested in combination with other polyphenols than when taken alone, such as in a supplement, review suggests.
Polyphenols may have greater bioavailability when they are ingested in combination with other polyphenols than when taken alone, such as in a supplement, review suggests.

The amount of polyphenols absorbed and used by the body may be greater when taken with other polyphenols, according to a research review of the antioxidants.

The review, published in the journal Nutrition Reviews, found that the majority of studies “suggest that polyphenols may have greater bioavailability when they are ingested in combination with other polyphenols than when taken alone, such as in a supplement”.

However, taking other antioxidant micronutrients at the same time, such as vitamins C and E, may have the reverse effect, the researchers said.

The review concluded that more knowledge is needed so ingredients can be tailored to optimise nutrition and the bioavailability of polyphenols.

Bioavailability is the ability of an organism to use a compound in its intake for energy and metabolism.

Being available

Polyphenols constitute a diverse class of secondary plant compounds, or phytochemicals. High concentrations are found in the outer parts of fruits and vegetables, such as apple or potato peel, in leafy vegetables, cereals, cacao and coffee beans.

Polyphenols lay claim to antioxidant activity and have been associated with a reduction in the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, among other health benefits.

The review states: “While many epidemiological studies have associated the consumption of polyphenols within fruits and vegetables with a decreased risk of developing several chronic diseases, intervention studies (trials with supplements) have generally not confirmed these beneficial effects.

“The reasons for this discrepancy are not fully understood but include potential differences in dosing, interaction with the food matrix, and differences in polyphenol bioavailability.”

Factors impacting bioavailability

The review said that polyphenol bioavailability appears to depend on a variety of factors related to diet and the food matrix, such as the dose, smaller particle size and heating and the presence of lipids, as well as low levels of proteins and indigestible carbohydrates.

The simultaneous intake of antioxidant micronutrients such as vitamins C and E may, to some extent, reduce gastrointestinal degradation of polyphenols, while the presence of additional polyphenols may enhance polyphenol availability by influencing efflux transporters.

The review concluded that: “A largely neglected factor appears to be the potential effect of nutrients and non-nutrients on polyphenol biodistribution and excretion.

“Thus, in view of the potential relationship between polyphenols and the reduction of chronic diseases on one hand, and the risk of micronutrient deficiencies such as zinc and iron with elevated polyphenol intake on the other, as well as the plethora of dietary supplements on the market, more research in this domain is warranted.

“The combination of food science and technological knowledge to tailor these aspects and steer the bioavailability of polyphenols by optimally combining various ingredients is desired to guarantee optimal nutrition.”

Several polyphenols, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, reduce the absorption of some minerals and trace elements, including iron, zinc, copper and sodium, they wrote.



Source: Nutrition Reviews

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/nure.12114

“Dietary factors affecting polyphenol bioavailability”

Authors: T. Bohn 

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Get FREE access to authoritative breaking news, videos, podcasts, webinars and white papers. SUBSCRIBE

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Key Industry Events


Access all events listing

Our events, Events from partners...