Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds in plants and they are the most abundant antioxidants in the human diet. Due to their considerable structural diversity, this largely influences their bioavailability. Since a large proportion of polyphenols remains unabsorbed along the gastrointestinal tract, they may accumulate in the large intestine, where most of them are extensively metabolized by the intestinal microbiota. The formation of bioactive polyphenol-derived metabolites may also benefit the health status of the subjects, although the mechanisms have not been delineated. This review aims to highlight the impact of polyphenols on gut health and the modes of action could be through modulation of intestinal barrier function, innate and adaptive immune response, signaling pathways, as well as the ability to modify gut microbiota composition. The review will conclude by presenting future perspective and challenges of polyphenols application in food products to be used for preventing or treating diseases.
- gut health
- gut microbiota