Potential of Plant-sourced Phenols for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Curr Med Chem. 2018;25(38):5191-5217. doi: 10.2174/0929867324666171009100900.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an uncontrolled chronic inflammatory intestinal disorder, which requires medications for long-term therapy. Facing the challenges of severe side effects and drug resistance of conventional medications, to develop the strategies meet the stringent safety and effectiveness in the long-term treatment are urgent in the clinics. In this regard, a growing body of evidence confirms plant-sourced phenols, such as flavonoids, catechins, stilbenes, coumarins, quinones, lignans, phenylethanoids, cannabinoid phenols, tannins, phenolic acids and hydroxyphenols, exert potent protective benefits with fewer undesirable effects in conditions of acute or chronic intestinal inflammation through improvement of colonic oxidative and pro-inflammatory status, preservation of the epithelial barrier function and modulation of gut microbiota. In this review, the great potential of plant-sourced phenols and their action mechanisms for the treatment or prevention of IBD in recent research are summarized, which may help further development of new preventive/adjuvant regimens for IBD.

Keywords: Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; action mechanism; colonic tissue edema; plant-sourced phenols; therapeutic effects; ulcerative colitis..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Plants / chemistry*


  • Biological Products
  • Cytokines
  • Phenols