As polyphenols are known antioxidants, side effects of polyphenols are outbalanced by their benefits. Till date, there have been no reliable evidences of any health impairment caused by these phytonutrients.
Polyphenols is a name given to a group of compounds that are known for their health-enhancing effects. These naturally occurring chemicals in plants are colorful and have excellent antioxidant properties. Flavonoids are the most popular compounds among polyphenols. Their presence gives color to a wide range of vegetables and fruits. Here are a few suppositions in favor of polyphenols side effects.
Polyphenols are classified as antioxidants, which means they can protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules in our body that are notorious for damaging healthy cells. These molecules with their destructive abilities cause progressive damage to organs like the eyes and the heart. Diminishing eyesight, reduced efficiency of the heart and a weaker immune system are some of the health issues that occur with age. All these health problems are a result of free radical damage. An easy way to substantially minimize the damaging effects of free radicals is to have foods high in polyphenols.
However, the flip side is that there might be some probable side effects of polyphenols too, which are yet to be proven. As per the studies conducted by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, polyphenols could potentially interfere with iron absorption, and thus may induce iron deficiency in certain borderline anemic subjects.
Also, supplements that provide an exceptionally high dose of polyphenol may not be safe for consumption. In this case too, the side effect resulting from overdose is just a hypothesis.
Polyphenol is readily available in a variety of foodstuffs such as onions, berries, apples, soy, green tea, wine, and in some nutrition supplements. While choosing polyphenol-rich dietary sources, it’s advisable to consume foods that are not sweetened or diluted. The reason is – the antioxidant property of polyphenol should not be outweighed by the calories induced along with it.
As they show antioxidant activity, polyphenols have been beneficial to improve overall health and immunity. Researchers are yet to find evidences that would support its possible toxic effects. Till then, let’s glance through their benefits:
Promotes Healthy Heart
Looking for a diet plan that can help keep your heart healthy? A diet plan that focuses more on eating polyphenol-rich foods, is a popular remedy to boost cardiovascular health. One can prevent heart health from deteriorating, with age, if foods high in polyphenols are consumed on a daily basis. Polyphenols ensure that the pumping ability of the heart does not decline with age.
Promotes Eye Health
Age-related eye disorders that destroy quality of life can always be prevented with polyphenols. In order to preserve eyesight naturally, one can always rely on polyphenols, instead of vitamin supplements. To keep eye problems at bay and ensure sharp vision even during old age, it is essential to include polyphenol-rich foods in the diet.
Prevent Cancer Development
Polyphenols can also help to considerably minimize the risk of cancer development. Laboratory studies have shown that polyphenols display anti-cancer activities and so their inclusion in the diet can help protect the body from various types of cancer. Free radical damage promotes cancerous activity but a simple way to suppress it and reduce cancer risk is to make polyphenol foods an integral part of the diet.
Boosts Immune System
Maintaining a healthy immune system is something that can be easily achieved if foods and beverages with high concentration of polyphenols are taken everyday. They strengthen the immune system and make it resistant to infections and viruses. The proper functioning of the immune system is very crucial for a longer life span and for a healthy living. Polyphenols support immune system function, thereby helping to lead a healthier life, years down the line.
Although the side effects are yet to be established, their consumption in large doses in the form of supplements is definitely harmful. In fact, use of supplements is unnecessary if polyphenols are coming from natural sources (foods). Anything of too much is not good and this certainly holds true for polyphenols. Research has proved that too much dosage through supplements can never be tolerated by the body. Also people having pre-existing problems of the heart and the kidneys should stay away from these supplements as well as beverages high in polyphenols.
So, to reap the benefits of polyphenols, include a variety of vegetable dishes and fruits in the diet. Beverages like green tea are also an excellent source of polyphenols and so consuming them daily, in moderation, can be good for health.