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Many epidemiological and experimental studies have consistently reported the beneficial effects of dietary proanthocyanidins (PAC) on improving gastrointestinal physiological functions. This review aims to present a comprehensive perspective by focusing on structural properties, interactions and gastrointestinal protection of PAC. In brief, the main findings of this review are summarized as follows: (1) Structural features are critical factors in determining the bioavailability and subsequent pharmacology of PAC; (2) PAC and/or their bacterial metabolites can play a direct role in the gastrointestinal tract through their antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative properties; (3) PAC can reduce the digestion, absorption, and bioavailability of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids by interacting with them or their according enzymes and transporters in the gastrointestinal tract; (4). PAC showed a prebiotic-like effect by interacting with the microflora in the intestinal tract, and the enhancement of PAC on a variety of probiotics, such as Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp. could be associated with potential benefits to human health. In conclusion, the potential effects of PAC in prevention and alleviation of gastrointestinal diseases are remarkable but clinical evidence is urgently needed.


Yong Chen, Jing Wang, Liang Zou, Hui Cao, Xiaoling Ni, Jianbo Xiao. Dietary proanthocyanidins on gastrointestinal health and the interactions with gut microbiota. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition. 2023;63(23):6285-6308

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PMID: 35114875

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