Chapter 18

Polyphenols and Intestinal Health

Kristina B. Martinez1, Jessica D. Mackert2 and Michael K. McIntosh2,    1University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States,    2UNC-Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, United States

Abstract

Altering the gut microbiome with prebiotics can mitigate dysbiosis and improve intestinal and systemic health. Plants are rich in three main classes of polyphenols with prebiotic properties: (1) phenolics acids, (2) flavonoids, and (3) other phenolics. All of these are abundant in fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs and have both antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. Because dietary polyphenols are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, they persist in the colon to be metabolized into aromatic metabolites that ...

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