Polyphenols May Prevent, Reduce Cardiovascular Disease

July 21, 2010



Mindy Weinstein
IFT Media Relations

CHICAGO – Preliminary studies show a possible correlation between polyphenols – plant based antioxidants associated with disease prevention – and improved cardiovascular health and circulation.

Specifically, polyphenols found in green and black teas, cocoa, pistachio nuts and grapes have helped some patients preserve cardiovascular health.

"Polyphenol antioxidants may help maintain cardiovascular function and healthy circulation" said Mark Dreher, Ph.D., president/CSO Nutrition Science Solutions, especially in individuals "sensitized to oxidized stress."

However, studies, to date, "have been of short duration, and further research regarding specific biomarkers (indications of health)  and effects on efficacy and intake" are needed, said Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and director, Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

In general, there has been no endorsement of polyphenols for promoting cardiovascular health, however, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently issued a report stating: "Moderate evidence suggests that modest consumption of dark chocolate and cocoa polyphenols are associated with reduced CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk."

Cocoa is believed to lower LDL-cholesterol  1 percent over time, and a 1 percent reduction in LDL associated with a 2 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease, said Dreher.

Despite a lack of strong evidence, consumers do associate antioxidants with improved heart health.


Jeffrey Blumberg – jeffrey.blumberg@tufts.edu
Mark Dreher -- mdreher@nutriscisolutions.com


About IFT
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a nonprofit scientific society. Our individual members are professionals engaged in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia, and government. IFT's mission is to advance the science of food, and our long-range vision is to ensure a safe and abundant food supply, contributing to healthier people everywhere.

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