12 January - 20 June 2016

Study indicates high polyphenol intake is associated with reduced mortality in older adults

23 Oct 13

Could a polyphenol-rich diet help to reduction mortality rates in older adults; according to a new study by researchers at the University of Barcelona the answer is yes! Reporting in the Journal of Nutrition scientists have indicated that high polyphenol intake is associated with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults.  Polyphenols have been reported to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenetic effects. Cherubini et al report that the health effects of polyphenols depends on their quantity consumed and bioavailability, which varies greatly from one molecule to another and among individuals.   The scientists note that evaluating total dietary polyphenol (TDP) intake from self-reported questionnaires is inaccurate and unreliable and a promising alternative is to use total urinary polyphenol (TUP) concentration as a proxy measure of intake.  Using both methods the scientists evaluated the relationship between TUPs and TDPs and all-cause mortality.  The scientists recruited 807 men and women aged 65 and over, involved in the InCHIANTI study and follow them for 12 years. At baseline total dietary polyphenol intake was measured using a food frequency questionnaire.  During follow up 274 participants (34%) died, with TUP excretion at baseline being greater in participants who survived compared to those who died.  Of those who died 66 (24%) deaths were due to CVD, 112 (41%) to cancer, and 74 (27%) to other causes.   Twenty two (8%) participants had missing information on cause of death.   The scientists report that overall mortality was reduced by 30% in participants who consumed more than 650 mg/day of polyphenols compared with participants who had a low intake of less than 500 mg/day.  The study suggests that older participants with low TUP concentrations are at higher risk of death, whereas no pattern was apparent for TDP.  However Cherubini et al report that “the underlying mechanisms by which high TUP concentrations can contribute to a reduction of all-cause mortality are still unknown but may be due to their cardiovascular-protective and anticarcinogenic effects, because CVDs and cancer are the 2 main causes of mortality in this section of the population.”  The authors also state that although their study shows the benefit of dietary polyphenols it also shows the importance of using nutritional biomarkers and not just food frequency questionnaires.

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can assay a range of products for polyphenolic components. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

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