Dietary flavonoids: Role of (-)-epicatechin and related procyanidins in cell signaling

Cesar G. Fraga, Patricia I. Oteiza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

148 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plant polyphenols are among the most abundant phytochemicals present in human diets. Increasing evidence supports the health-promoting effects of certain polyphenols, including flavonoids. This review discusses current knowledge of the capacity of monomeric flavanols, i.e., (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin, and their derived procyanidins to modulate cell signaling and the associations of these actions with better health. Flavanols and procyanidins can regulate cell signaling through different mechanisms of action. Monomers and dimeric procyanidins can be transported inside cells and directly interact and modulate the activity of signaling proteins and/or prevent oxidation. Larger and nonabsorbable procyanidins can regulate cell signaling by interacting with cell membrane proteins and lipids, inducing changes in membrane biophysics, and by modulating oxidant production. All these actions would be limited by the bioavailability of flavanols at the target tissue. The protection from cardiac and vascular disease and from cancer that is associated with a high consumption of fruit and vegetables could be in part explained by the capacity of flavanols and related procyanidins to modulate proinflammatory and oncogenic signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-823
Number of pages11
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011

Fingerprint

Cell signaling
Proanthocyanidins
Catechin
Flavonoids
Polyphenols
Health
Biophysics
Vegetables
Phytochemicals
Membrane Lipids
Nutrition
Fruits
Vascular Diseases
Oxidants
Biological Availability
Heart Diseases
Fruit
Membrane Proteins
Monomers
Tissue

Keywords

  • Antioxidant
  • Cardiovascular
  • Flavonoids
  • Free radicals
  • Inflammation
  • Intestine
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polyphenols

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Dietary flavonoids : Role of (-)-epicatechin and related procyanidins in cell signaling. / Fraga, Cesar G.; Oteiza, Patricia I.

In: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Vol. 51, No. 4, 15.08.2011, p. 813-823.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fraga, Cesar G. ; Oteiza, Patricia I. / Dietary flavonoids : Role of (-)-epicatechin and related procyanidins in cell signaling. In: Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2011 ; Vol. 51, No. 4. pp. 813-823.
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