Polyphenol-rich diets improve leaky gut syndrome in the elderly

The increase of intestinal permeability is associated with factors such as ageing, food allergies and intolerances and unhealthy diets. This alteration causes a reduction of the gut integrity barrier that triggers the transit of potentially-toxic substances for the blood, and is related to the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even Alzheimer’s.

A polyphenol-rich diet improves the intestinal permeability in old people, according to an article published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. The study is led by Cristina Andrés-Lacueva, profesor at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences and head of the Research Group of Biomarkers and Nutritional Metabolomics of Food of the UB and the Biomedical Research Center of Fragility and Healthy Ageing (CIBERFES), also part of the Catalan Food Innovation Network (XIA).

This European study, conducted within the framework of the Joint Programming Initiative – A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL), was carried out in people aged over sixty who underwent a polyphenol-rich diet for eight weeks. The results show that including up to three daily portions of apple, cocoa, dark chocolate, green tea, cranberries, oranges or pomegranate juice, improves intestinal permeability when making specific changes in the intestinal microbiota.

The study, conducted in collaboration with the Quadram Institute (United Kingdom) and the University of Milan and University of Perugia (Italy), and funded by the International Joint Programming Initiatives PCIN-2015-238, has also received support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the former Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) via the Joint Programming Initiative – A Healthy Diet for A Healthy Life.

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