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What are Polyphenols?

Last Updated May 28th 2022, 11:59:41 am

Polyphenols are a structural class of mainly natural, but also synthetic or semisynthetic, organic chemicals. They are considered micronutrients.




Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

Ellagic acid


Pterostilbene (PSB)

Pterostilbene (PSB) (3′,5′‐dimethoxy‐resveratrol), a Resveratrol‐related polyphenol found in blueberries, was identified. PSB has a higher bioavailability than Reveratrol due to the presence of two methoxy groups that increase its lipophilic and oral absorption.[1]


Healing Properties



Anti‐carcinogenic (anticancer)


Polyphenols such as anthocyanins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids are found to have antimicrobial properties.[2]


Berries such as Elderberry, blueberry, raspberry, and cranberry have proven to be effective against viral infections.[2:1]

Berries could be an alternative source for managing and inhibiting viral infections.[2:2]



Polyphenols have prebiotic effects; stimulate the growth of healthy gut microorganisms and increase production of Short Chain Fatty Acids.[3]

Consumption of polyphenols, especially catechins, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, increases the abundance of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia, Roseburia, and Faecalibacterium spp. Moreover, polyphenols supplementation increased the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), including butyrate. The clinical trials showed an increased abundance of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium and Faecalibacterium spp., and a reduction in plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein after the consumption of anthocyanins and ellagic acid. In conclusion, there is strong evidence in preclinical studies that dietary polyphenols can stimulate both the growth of microorganisms identified as prebiotic targets and an increase in the production of SCFA.[3:1]


  1. Title: Pterostilbene reduces colonic inflammation by suppressing dendritic cell activation and promoting regulatory T cell development
    Publication: The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
    Institution(s): Tokyo University of Science, Tokyo, Japan
    Date: September 2020
    Archive ↩︎

  2. Title: Berry derived constituents in suppressing viral infection: Potential avenues for viral pandemic management
    Institution(s): University of Illinois, Rockford, IL
    Publication: Elsevier: Clinical Nutrition ESPEN
    Date: September 28, 2021 ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  3. Title: Prebiotic effect of dietary polyphenols: A systematic review
    Publication: Journal of Functional Foods
    Institution(s): School of Nutrition, Federal University of Goiás (UFG), Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
    Date: September 2020
    Archive ↩︎ ↩︎