Dietary Polyphenols in Metabolic and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Molecular Targets in Autophagy and Biological Effects

Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Jan 20;10(2):142. doi: 10.3390/antiox10020142.


Polyphenols represent a group of secondary metabolites of plants which have been analyzed as potent regulators of multiple biological processes, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy, among others. These natural compounds exhibit beneficial effects and protection against inflammation, oxidative stress, and related injuries including metabolic diseases, such as cardiovascular damage, obesity and diabetes, and neurodegeneration. This review aims to summarize the mechanisms of action of polyphenols in relation to the activation of autophagy, stimulation of mitochondrial function and antioxidant defenses, attenuation of oxidative stress, and reduction in cell apoptosis, which may be responsible of the health promoting properties of these compounds.

Keywords: autophagy; disease models; inflammation; mechanisms; oxidative stress; polyphenols.

Publication types

  • Review