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Grape Polyphenol Bioavailability May Be Increased by Altering Gut Microbiota

Previous research suggests that grape polyphenols may have neuroprotective qualities, but bioavailability of grape polyphenols tends to be low, mainly due to poor absorption in the gut, intestine, and colon. A recent study has found that altering the gut microbiota may result in improved bioavailability of polyphenols.

The researchers conducted a critical analysis of various strategies that have been tried to increase the uptake of grape polyphenols. One strategy involves the structural alteration of the molecules themselves via methylation, acetylation, or hydroxymethalation. Another strategy involves turning the polyphenolic ingredients into nano sized crystals.

The most promising strategy found was altering the gut microbiota to make it easier for the ingredients to cross the blood gut barrier and ultimately the blood brain barrier. The use of prebiotic and probiotic ingredients in this area has shown promise. Regarding prebiotics, pectin and other non-digestible oligo/polysaccharides have been shown to be sustainable sources of prebiotics that modify microbiota and prolong the intestinal transit time of polyphenols.

Certain strains of probiotics in the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species families showed an ability to boost polyphenolic uptake via a complicated feedback loop in the gut.

The study was conducted by researchers with Rutgers University. It was published on January 7, 2019, in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Grape seeds, grape skin, and grape juice contain several types of polyphenols, including resveratrol, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids. The antioxidant effects of these polyphenols help slow or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation.
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