Many observational and clinical studies have shown that consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols have beneficial effects on various diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). Animal and cellular studies have indicated that these polyphenolic compounds contribute to such effects. The representative polyphenols are epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate in tea, chlorogenic acids in coffee, resveratrol in wine, and curcumin in curry. The results of human studies have suggested the beneficial effects of consumption of these foods on NDDs including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, and cellular animal experiments have provided molecular basis to indicate contribution of these representative polyphenols to these effects. This article provides updated information on the effects of these foods and their polyphenols on NDDs with discussions on mechanistic aspects of their actions mainly based on the findings derived from basic experiments.
Keywords: AMPK; EGCG; NDD; NF-κB; ROS; chlorogenic acid; curcumin; polyphenols; resveratrol.