Oxidative stress and Alzheimer's disease: dietary polyphenols as potential therapeutic agents

Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 May;10(5):729-45. doi: 10.1586/ern.10.42.


Oxidative stress has been strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In recent years, antioxidants - especially those of dietary origin - have been suggested as possible agents useful for the prevention and treatment of AD. This article reviews the role of oxidative stress and the contribution of free radicals in the development of AD, and also discusses the use of antioxidants as a therapeutic strategy in the amelioration of this illness. The antioxidant potential of polyphenolic compounds obtained from dietary sources, such as anthocyanins from berries, catechins and theaflavins from tea, curcumin from turmeric, resveratrol from grapes and peanuts, the dihydrochalcones aspalathin and nothofagin from rooibos and the xanthone mangiferin from honeybush, are discussed in this review. The neuroprotective effects of these phytochemicals in preclinical models of AD are highlighted. Finally, innovative concepts, novel hypotheses, current challenges and future directions in the use of dietary polyphenols for the treatment of AD are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy*
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / physiopathology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Phenols / administration & dosage*
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Polyphenols


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols