__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 14

Trending Markets

The Popular

Polyphenol by Meredith Kleeman

As a natural products vendor, you’re probably aware that the beneficial properties of foods are linked to certain compounds. But did you know that the beneficial properties associated with specific foods and products are due to the presence of polyphenols? The number of known, natural polyphenols is staggering—we’re talking more than 8,000—and research suggests that each polyphenol has its own particular benefit. But what do consumers need to know about polyphenols, and how can you help them navigate the increasing array of products and supplements touting polyphenolic benefits? Here’s the bottom line.

14

The presence of polyphenols creates much of the colors, tangy flavors, and health benefits that consumers desire in their natural products. Polyphenols include subgroups, such as flavonoids, that are divided even further into isoflavones, anthocyanins, and catechins. Most fruits, vegetables, and plants contain combinations of these compounds in varying concentrations. Apples, onions, capers, and broccoli contain high concentrations of quercetin, a polyphenol belonging to the flavonoid group and beneficial to cardiovascular health, while berries include a range of polyphenolic compounds, namely

Natural Products Association • NPAinfo.org

anthocyanins, flavanols and flavonols, tannins, and stilbenes, shown to promote healthy aging and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Polyphenols vs. Antioxidants Consumers are aware of the benefits of a diet rich in antioxidants, and some may even understand the science behind antioxidants. What is less clear is how polyphenols differ from antioxidants. For a while, polyphenols were described interchangeably with the term antioxidants. It’s true that many polyphenols have antioxidant proper-

Profile for Natural Products Assn.

NPA Now Winter 2014  

As the leading voice of the natural products industry, the Natural Products Association's mission is to advocate for the rights of consumers...

NPA Now Winter 2014  

As the leading voice of the natural products industry, the Natural Products Association's mission is to advocate for the rights of consumers...

Advertisement