Document Detail

Nutraceuticals: facts and fiction.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17976666     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Epidemiological studies show a link between the consumption of plant-derived foods and a range of health benefits. These benefits have been associated, at least partially, to some of the phytochemical constituents, and, in particular, to polyphenols. In the last few years, nutraceuticals have appeared in the market. These are pharmaceutical forms (pills, powders, capsules, vials, etc.) containing food bioactive compounds as active principles. The bioactive phytochemicals have become a very significant source for nutraceutical ingredients. Scientific research supports the biological activity of many of these food phytochemicals, but the health claims attributed to the final marketed nutraceutical products have often little or doubtful scientific foundation. This is due to the fact that a lot of the scientific evidence is derived from animal testing and in vitro assays, whereas human clinical trials are scarce and inconclusive. Some key issues such as bioavailability, metabolism, dose/response and toxicity of these food bioactive compounds or the nutraceuticals themselves have not been well established yet. Amongst the phytochemicals, several groups of polyphenols (anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, flavanones, isoflavones, resveratrol and ellagic acid) are currently used in the nutraceutical industry. In this report, we have reviewed the most recent scientific knowledge on the bioavailability and biological activity of these polyphenols ('fact'), as well as the health claims (which are not always supported by scientific studies) ascribed to the polyphenols-containing nutraceuticals ('fiction'). The in vitro antioxidant capacity, often used as a claim, can be irrelevant in terms of in vivo antioxidant effects. Bioavailability, metabolism, and tissue distribution of these polyphenols in humans are key factors that need to be clearly established in association to the biological effects of these polyphenols-containing nutraceuticals. The future trends of phytochemistry research regarding nutraceuticals are discussed.
Juan Carlos Espín; María Teresa García-Conesa; Francisco A Tomás-Barberán
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2007-10-31
Journal Detail:
Title:  Phytochemistry     Volume:  68     ISSN:  0031-9422     ISO Abbreviation:  Phytochemistry     Publication Date:    2007 Nov-Dec
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-12-06     Completed Date:  2008-02-26     Revised Date:  2013-06-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0151434     Medline TA:  Phytochemistry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2986-3008     Citation Subset:  IM    
Research Group on Quality, Safety and Bioactivity of Plant Foods, CEBAS-CSIC, P.O. Box 164, 30100 Campus de Espinardo, Murcia, Spain.
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MeSH Terms
Anthocyanins / chemistry,  pharmacology
Dietary Supplements*
Ellagic Acid / chemistry,  pharmacology
Flavanones / chemistry,  pharmacology
Hydrolyzable Tannins / chemistry,  pharmacology
Stilbenes / chemistry,  pharmacology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Anthocyanins; 0/Flavanones; 0/Hydrolyzable Tannins; 0/Stilbenes; 0/ellagitannin; 476-66-4/Ellagic Acid; Q369O8926L/resveratrol

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