Background: Polyphenols represent a great variety of compounds occurring in fruits, vegetables and
plant-derived products. Dietary polyphenols have been found displaying several biological properties, such as
anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging activities, cardiovascular and neuro-protection, and reduction of the
risk of intestinal diseases. The bio-efficacy of polyphenols is tightly linked to their bioavailability, to structural
complexity and composition of food matrix in which they are present. Since most of the polyphenols are naturally
stored in food matrices as glycosylated and/or variously decorated forms, they need an intestinal bio-conversion
in more absorbable forms. Recent findings are highlighting the polyphenols-gut microbiota interplay in the health
benefits linked to these compounds. Furthermore, the prebiotic-like activities of polyphenols on microbiota and
their potential use in preventive/therapeutic strategies for gastrointestinal disorders are recently emerging.
Conclusion: In this review, we will focus on the dietary flavonols, anthocyanins and stilbenes, as widely occurring
polyphenols in human diet, their metabolism mediated by gut microbiota and their protective effects on inflammatory
bowel diseases (IBDs).