Topic of the Month
1 June 2013
Like carotenoids, polyphenols are among the estimated 60,000 secondary phytochemicals that help plants defend against pests and also serve as coloring, flavoring or fragrance agents. Polyphenols are broadly classified as phenolic acids and flavonoids (pigments), which are mainly found in fruits and drinks derived from plants, such as fruit juices, tea, coffee, cocoa and red wine, but also in vegetables, cereals and chocolate. Since polyphenols are present in large numbers in many foods and are involved in different biological processes, studying them is complex. According to current research, polyphenols may contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases; however, the evidence available to date is not sufficient enough to derive concrete intake recommendations in general or for specific populations with specific disease risks.