Impact of polyphenols and polyphenol-rich dietary sources on gut microbiota composition

J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Oct 9;61(40):9517-33. doi: 10.1021/jf402506c. Epub 2013 Sep 27.


Gut microbiota plays a key role in host physiology and metabolism. Indeed, the relevance of a well-balanced gut microbiota composition to an individual's health status is essential for the person's well-being. Currently, investigations are focused on analyzing the effects of pre- and probiotics as new therapeutic tools to counteract the disruption of intestinal bacterial balance occurring in several diseases. Polyphenols exert a wide range of beneficial health effects. However, although specific attention has been paid in recent years to the function of this "biological entity" in the metabolism of polyphenols, less is known about the modulatory capacity of these bioactive compounds on gut microbiota composition. This review provides an overview of the latest investigations carried out with pure polyphenols, extracts rich in polyphenols, and polyphenol-rich dietary sources (such as cocoa, tea, wine, soy products, and fruits) and critically discusses the consequences to gut microbiota composition which are produced.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage*


  • Flavonoids
  • Polyphenols