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POLYTRUE? Report Summary

Project ID: 322467
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - POLYTRUE? (What is the mechanism of the true chronic effect of dietary polyphenols?)

Polyphenols in the diet are present in plant-based foods and beverages, and are an essential part of a “healthy” diet. However, although numerous theories have been proposed for their mechanism of action, including the now debunked theory of direct antioxidant action, the exact mechanisms in vivo remain elusive. In this project, we have developed new models including cells engineered to express key transporters necessary for facilitating polyphenol action, together with multi-cell cultures, and have produced a range of different polyphenol species which are found in the human body. These systems, together with newly developed analytical methods, have allowed us to show new mechanisms of action. Combined with other studies on human volunteers, we have developed the theory that the protective effects against diabetes arise from a “double” action, involving attenuation of glucose absorption during the post-prandial phase as well as protecting against the effects of excess/elevated post-prandial glucose at the molecular level in cells such as the liver, endothelium and muscle, and that the same principle applies to fat metabolism. The results have allowed new avenues of research to be pursued.

Reported by

United Kingdom
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