Chlorogenic acids (CGAs), a group of hydroxycinnamates, are generally abundant in everyday foods and beverages, most prominently in certain coffee drinks. Among them, the chlorogenic acid (CGA), also termed as 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid (5-CQA), is one of the most abundant, highly functional polyphenolic compounds in the human diet. The evidence of its health benefits obtained from clinical studies, as well as basic research, indicates an inverse correlation between 5-CQA consumption and a lower risk of metabolic syndromes and chronic diseases. This review focuses on the beneficial properties for health and mechanisms of action of 5-CQA, starting with its history, isomers, dietary sources, processing effects, preparation methods, pharmacological safety evaluation, and bioavailability. It also provides the possible molecular mechanistic bases to explain the health beneficial effects of 5-CQA including neuroprotective, cardiovascular protective, gastrointestinal protective, renoprotective, hepatoprotective, glucose and lipid metabolism regulatory, and anticarcinogenic effects. The information summarized here could aid in the basic and clinical research on 5-CQA as a natural dietary additive, potential drug candidate, as well as a natural health promoter.
Keywords: bioavailability; chlorogenic acid; dietary supplements; functional properties; polyphenols.
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