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

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 

Related News

The main three contributors to total polyphenol intake were coffee, tea, and chocolate consumption – together these made up 75% of all polyphenol intake.

Polish polyphenol study identifies coffee, tea and chocolate as top contributors

Polyphenol counts in berries may be high, but bioavailability is much lower, say researchers

Will you get more polyphenols from blueberry-grape juice or a smoothie?

Photo courtesy of Polyphenolics

Pre hypertension link to risk in young adults widens scope for grape seed extract, Polyphenolics says

"These results open a new avenue of research regarding the potential cardiovascular protective effects of resveratrol..." (©

Red wine may offer heart protection by altering gut microbiome: Study

Maple syrup is produced from the sap collected from the maple tree. Boiling of the sap produces a cocktail of different compounds that are only present in the syrup. (©

Maple syrup polyphenols may protect against neurodegenerative effects: Study

Dr Carmela Spagnuolo, from the Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council in Italy, presents her research involving elderberries.

3 berry interesting ideas about polyphenols

Speakers at the congress provided data and insights into the mechanisms of dietary polyphenols.

What we learnt about tea & coffee at the polyphenol world congress

The 10th World Congress on Polyphenol Applications played host to a number of eminent speakers, scientists, researchers and food industry professionals.

Polyphenol round up: Best of the rest

Photo: Mendahk/Flickr

Aging Japanese bring tea polyphenol market to boil

Dietary polyphenols may be associated with longevity: Study

Dietary polyphenols may be associated with longevity: Study

Polyphenols may slash heart disease risk

Polyphenols may slash heart disease risk

The popularity of tea as a beverage helps drive awareness of the polyphenols extracted from the plant.

Global tea polyphenols market set to hit $368 million by 2020

Phenolic compounds found in black tea and red wine grape extracts could modify the composition of microbes in our gut, say researchers from Unilever.

Plant polyphenols may modulate microbiota: In vitro study

Polyphenol-rich juice passes bioavailability test: Coca-Cola

Polyphenol-rich juice passes bioavailability test: Coca-Cola

Polyphenols may reduce risk of gout: Study

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.