Polyphenol and Tannin Nutraceuticals and Their Metabolites: How the Human Gut Microbiota Influences Their Properties

Biomolecules. 2022 Jun 23;12(7):875. doi: 10.3390/biom12070875.


Nutraceuticals have been receiving increasing attention in the last few years due to their potential role as adjuvants against non-communicable chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.). However, a limited number of studies have been performed to evaluate the bioavailability of such compounds, and it is generally reported that a substantial elevation of their plasma concentration can only be achieved when they are consumed at pharmacological levels. Even so, positive effects have been reported associated with an average dietary consumption of several nutraceutical classes, meaning that the primary compound might not be solely responsible for all the biological effects. The in vivo activities of such biomolecules might be carried out by metabolites derived from gut microbiota fermentative transformation. This review discusses the structure and properties of phenolic nutraceuticals (i.e., polyphenols and tannins) and the putative role of the human gut microbiota in influencing the beneficial effects of such compounds.

Keywords: metabolites; microbiota; nutraceutical; polyphenol; tannin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Microbiota*
  • Polyphenols / metabolism
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology
  • Polyphenols / therapeutic use
  • Tannins / pharmacology


  • Polyphenols
  • Tannins

Grant support

This research received no external funding.