Antioxidant Polyphenols and the Microbiome

The word “antioxidants” is a familiar one; most people with even a passing interest in nutrition are aware of the benefits of compounds like vitamin C and vitamin E. However, how many of us really understand what antioxidants do and why they are so important to our health?  This paper will explain the basics of how antioxidants work, with a special focus on an important class of antioxidants from the nutritional point of view: the polyphenols. We will also consider how some polyphenols may exert their effects without ever being absorbed into our bloodstream, through direct effects in the gut; in particular, through support of our microbiome.


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By: Claudia S. Copeland, PhD, and Mark Heiman, PhD Microbiome Therapeutics