Professor of the Practice of Law University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Magic of Polyphenols

Polyphenols are found in vegetables, fruits, green tea, coffee, and dark chocolate.  Because they are not absorbed easily, they accumulate in the intestine and interact with the microbiota in the gut. 

Researchers examined the impact on gut microbiota of polyphenol intake in 51 participants over 60 years of age, who consumed a polyphenol rich diet for 8 weeks.  Included in their diet were green tea, dark chocolate, apples, blueberries, and pomegranate juice.

This study showed that polyphenol intake stimulated the growth of a particularly beneficial bacteria known as IPA.  IPA is a postbiotic with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties.  The participants had a significant increase in blood IPA, as well as a decrease in inflammation.

Takeaway:  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including some coffee, green tea, pomegranate juice, and dark chocolate, can provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuro-beneficial protection against the risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Well-being is a journey, not a quick fix


Gregorio Peron, et al., A Polyphenol-Rich Diet Increases Gut Microbiota Metabolite Indole 3-Propionic Acid in Older Adults with Preserved Kidney Function, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Mar. 22, 2022, A Polyphenol‐Rich Diet Increases the Gut Microbiota Metabolite Indole 3‐Propionic Acid in Older Adults with Preserved Kidney Function – Peron – – Molecular Nutrition & Food Research – Wiley Online Library.

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