Polyphenols, Inflammation, and Cardiovascular Disease

  • Christy C. TangneyEmail author
  • Heather E. Rasmussen
Vascular Biology (RS Rosenson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Vascular Biology


Polyphenols are compounds found in foods such as tea, coffee, cocoa, olive oil, and red wine and have been studied to determine if their intake may modify cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Historically, biologic actions of polyphenols have been attributed to antioxidant activities, but recent evidence suggests that immunomodulatory and vasodilatory properties of polyphenols may also contribute to CVD risk reduction. These properties will be discussed, and recent epidemiological evidence and intervention trials will be reviewed. Further identification of polyphenols in foods and accurate assessment of exposures through measurement of biomarkers (i.e., polyphenol metabolites) could provide the needed impetus to examine the impact of polyphenol-rich foods on CVD intermediate outcomes (especially those signifying chronic inflammation) and hard endpoints among high risk patients. Although we have mechanistic insight into how polyphenols may function in CVD risk reduction, further research is needed before definitive recommendations for consumption can be made.


Polyphenols Inflammation Olive oil Flavonoid Phenolic acids Flow-mediated vasodilation Endothelial dysfunction Cell signaling Adhesion markers 


Conflicts of Interest

Christy Tangney declares that she has no conflicts of interest.

Heather E. Rasmussen declares that she has no conflicts of interest.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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