Chapter 1

Brief Introduction to Polyphenols, Bioactive Phytochemicals for Human Health

Marcello Iriti and Elena M. Varoni

Abstract

Phytochemicals include a huge array of plant products relevant for their biological activities. Among these, polyphenols have extensively been studied because of their ecological roles in plants and healthy properties relevant to humans. In particular, the diets rich in plant foods have been associated to a reduced risk of chronic degenerative diseases (cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders and some types of cancer), probably due to their high content of bioactive polyphenols as well as of other phytochemicals (carotenoids, glucosinolates, phytosterols…). In this chapter, we briefly introduce polyphenols, both from the plant and the human perspective, focusing on their antioxidant activity.

Total Pages: 3-9 (7)

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