Polyphenols are ubiquitous compounds present in the vegetal kingdom and endowed with an array of beneficial activities to human health. In this review, the effects of dietary polyphenols on the prevention and/or mitigation of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis will be illustrated. Moreover, emphasis will be placed on our own data concerning the in vitro effects performed by polyphenols from an italian red wine “Negroamaro” on human healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Particularly, production of nitric oxide and maintenance of the inflammatory/anti-inflammatory cytokine network will be discussed also in relation to potential application to human age-related diseases. In conclusion, polyphenols in virtue of the plethora of protective effects manifested in various experimental models and clinical trials seem to be appropriate as dietary supplements for preventing the functional decline of organs with age.
Keywords: Age-related diseases, immunity, polyphenols/kwd, >, prevention, wine, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, nitric oxide, dementia
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