Polyphenolic Compounds and Gut Microbiome in Cardiovascular Diseases

Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(7):578-586. doi: 10.2174/1389201020666191111150239.


The onset of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is known to be associated with multiple risk factors related to exogenous exposures on predisposed genetic makeup. Diet and lifestyle have a cascade effect on microbiota biodiversity, thus impacting inflammation and heart health. Atherosclerosis is a type of CVD where chronic inflammation contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries resulting in narrowed blood vessels, which obstruct blood flow. Polyphenolic compounds, including flavonoids, most commonly consumed in the form of plants, have been identified to have various mechanisms of action to reduce the inflammatory response in the body. Flavonoids provide a variety of nutraceutical functions including antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, antitumor, and improved pharmacokinetic properties. Therefore, the medicinal use of polyphenolic compounds as an intervention for the inflammatory response, especially relating to the gut microbiome, may significantly reduce the risk of atherosclerotic plaque development and disease onset. This review addresses the role of polyphenolic compounds and gut microbiome in cardiovascular disease. Research studies conducted in cells and animals were reviewed. These studies clearly illustrate that dietary polyphenolic compounds influence resident gut microbiota thus they are associated with the prevention of atherosclerosis progression. Further research in this field is warranted to identify potential gut microbiome mediated therapeutic approaches for CVD.

Keywords: Atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; flavonoids; gut microbiome; inflammation; oxidative stress..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / immunology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / microbiology
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Microbiota / drug effects*
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage
  • Polyphenols / chemistry
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors


  • Polyphenols