Polyphenols May Not Strongly Protect Against Heart Disease in Metabolic Syndrome

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Polyphenol supplementation may not have significant benefits for patients with metabolic syndrome.
Polyphenol supplementation may not have significant benefits for patients with metabolic syndrome.

(HealthDay News) — Supplementation with polyphenols does not strongly protect against cardiovascular diseases among patients with metabolic syndrome, according to a review published in Obesity Reviews.

Marie J. Amiot, PhD, from the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique in Paris, and colleagues reviewed the results of clinical studies assessing the effects of chronic supplementation with polyphenol-rich diet, foods, extracts, and molecules on the features of metabolic syndrome (obesity, dyslipidemia, blood pressure, and glycemia) and associated complications (oxidative stress and inflammation).

The researchers found that polyphenols were efficient, especially at higher doses, but there were no specific foods or extracts able to alleviate all the features of metabolic syndrome. 

Green tea significantly reduced BMI and waist circumference, while improving lipid metabolism. Cocoa supplementation reduced blood pressure and blood glucose. Soy isoflavones, citrus products, hesperidin, and quercetin improved lipid metabolism. Cinnamon reduced blood glucose. 

Numerous studies showed polyphenol supplementation did not have significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. Supplementation with cocoa, anthocyanin-rich berries, hesperidin, or resveratrol improved endothelial function in some trials.

"Diets rich in polyphenols, such as the Mediterranean diet, which promote the consumption of diverse polyphenol-rich products could be an effective nutritional strategy to improve the health of patients with metabolic syndrome," the researchers wrote.


  1. Amiot MJ, Riva C, Vinet A. Effects of dietary polyphenols on metabolic syndrome features in humans: a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2016. doi:10.1111/obr.12409.
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