At the interface of antioxidant signalling and cellular function: Key polyphenol effects

Asimina Kerimi, Gary Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The hypothesis that dietary (poly)phenols promote well-being by improving chronic disease-risk biomarkers, such as endothelial dysfunction, chronic inflammation and plasma uric acid, is the subject of intense current research, involving human interventions studies, animal models and in vitro mechanistic work. The original claim that benefits were due to the direct antioxidant properties of (poly)phenols has been mostly superseded by detailed mechanistic studies on specific molecular targets. Nevertheless, many proposed mechanisms in vivo and in vitro are due to modulation of oxidative processes, often involving binding to specific proteins and effects on cell signalling. We review the molecular mechanisms for 3 actions of (poly)phenols on oxidative processes where there is evidence in vivo from human intervention or animal studies. (1) Effects of (poly) phenols on pathways of chronic inflammation leading to prevention of some of the damaging effects associated with the metabolic syndrome. (2) Interaction of (poly)phenols with endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells, leading to effects on blood pressure and endothelial dysfunction, and consequent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. (3) The inhibition of xanthine oxidoreductase leading to modulation of intracellular superoxide and plasma uric acid, a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1770-1788
Number of pages19
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Endothelial function
  • Flavonoid
  • Inflammation
  • Phenolic acid
  • Uric acid

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