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Polyphenols Shown to Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidant-like nutrients that help fight free radical damage and excess inflammations in the body. A recent study suggests that eating more foods with high levels of polyphenols may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by as much as 46%.

Participants in the study included 7,172 individuals whose data was included in the Phenol-Explorer database. They were followed for an average of 4.3 years, during which time 273 instance of CVD were recorded.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that the participants who consumed an average of 1,170 milligrams daily of polyphenols (the highest amount) had a 46% lower risk of CVD when compared with those who consumed 563 mg daily (the lowest amount).

They then looked more closely at specific antioxidants, and noted a 49% reduction in risk of CVD in those who consumed the highest amount of lignans, a 33% reduction in those who consumed the highest amount of anthcyanins, and a 37% reduction in those who consumed the highest amount of dihydorchalcones.

Researchers from the University of Barcelona in Spain conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 22, 2014, in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease.

Previous studies have linked polyphenol intake with a variety of health benefits, including helping with weight management, fighting certain cancers, and reducing inflammation. Polyphenols can be found naturally in many foods, including honey, a variety of fruits and vegetables, red wine, chocolate, tea, certain oils and many types of grain.

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