Polyphenols are a group of chemical substances found in plants, active constituents on them that are an integral part of many traditional herbal remedies, known to interact on different ways against carcinogenesis, tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis and inflammation. They also exert powerful antioxidant properties. The largest and best studied polyphenols are the flavonoids, which include several thousand compounds, being the most abundant antioxidants present in our diets .
The Mediterranean diet is rich in polyphenols because it contains abundant vegetables, fruits, unrefined cereals, legumes, nuts, garlic, olive oil and red wine , this last one is also rich in resveratrol, a non-flavonoid Polyphenol that showed to be able to stop breast cancer cell growth, increase longevity, be cardioprotective, neuroprotective , to treat pain, inflammation, tissue injury and even beneficial against coronary heart disease .
Now a group of researchers from the Institut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica at the IMIM-Hospital del Mar in Spain shows how virgin olive oil Polyphenols can also be able to disable the genes related to atherosclerosis. Image left: Olive oil by Jessica Spengler under Creative Commons Attribution License (CC by 2.0).
Common name: Olives