What is it about?

Polyphenols are vastly diverse phytochemicals with complex chemical structures. They are found in a variety of commonly consumed foods such as chocolate, tea, coffee, wine, olive, dry legumes, and some vegetables and fruits. Polyphenols have been extensively studied over the past decade because of their potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory roles and their possible role in the prevention and management of several diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. The review preparation was completed in seven steps: identification of research question, definition of inclusion and exclusion criteria, literature search, selection of eligible studies, data extraction, evaluation of the risk of bias (through the Cochrane RoB Tool), and presentation of results (Cornell University Library, 2016).

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Why is it important?

In view of these potentials and differences in outcomes of several studies and for the aim of helping the public make informed choices and directing future research, we attempt to consider the association between polyphenols and body weight status through conducting a systematic review of human intervention studies.


The outcomes noted do not yet support polyphenol supplementation as a complementary approach in weight loss diets. There is an indication to suggest that the benefits of polyphenols might only be restricted to the counteraction of the small increases in body weight and fat resulting from seasonal changes (such as during winter) or periods of overfeeding. Long-term studies involving a large cohort and controlling for diet and exercise are needed in order to confirm the potential effect of polyphenols on obesity in humans. The genetic differences between populations also need to be considered.

Queen Margaret University Edinburgh

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This page is a summary of: Polyphenols and Their Role in Obesity Management: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials, Phytotherapy Research, May 2017, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/ptr.5830.
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