Polyphenols: What They Are

Polyphenols are micronutrients/phytochemicals (chemicals found in plants) which are packed with healing antioxidants and potential health benefits.

Thousands of individual polyphenols have been identified, but they break down into four major groups based on the number of phenol rings present.

  1. Flavonoids – These polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They are the most common form of polyphenols and found in nearly all fruits and vegetables. There are over 6,000 types of flavonoids and are largely responsible for bright colors. Things like berries, citrus and tea are notoriously high in flavonoids.
  2. Phenolic acids – Phenolic acids have been studied in their effects against cancer and heart disease. These polyphenols are found in tea, coffee, cherries, kiwi, mangos and more.
  3. Lignans – Found in legumes, flax seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables, lignans are great for your immune system, hormone balance and have even been studied for their breast cancer fighting effects.
  4. Stilbenes – These are a less common form of polyphenols. The most famous stilbene is resveratrol, which is found in grapes and red wine.

Each of these four groups of polyphenols carry slightly different benefits and are found in a variety of foods. Different foods are categorized into one of the four groups, dependent on the highest concentration of polyphenols present.

Polyphenols: Where to Find Them

Because polyphenols are present in plants, including fruits and vegetables, the sheer abundance of them means it’s relatively easy to get more in your diet – Plus, there are supplement forms as well.

To maximize the benefits of polyphenols, you must look at both the bioavailability and bioaccessibility of the polyphenols. Bioavailability refers to how many polyphenols are in a particular food. Bioaccessibility refers to how much of those polyphenols you are actually able to get/use from the food.

Skins, seeds, barks and pits all contain some of the highest concentrations of polyphenols, but not edible parts of plants. 

Some ways to increase your polyphenol intake and get as much of those bioavailable benefits include:

  • Extracts and oils allow us to utilize the polyphenols that are bioavailable but not exactly bio accessible to us. By using parts we normally wouldn’t eat, we are able to get extracts and oils to ramp up our polyphenol intake.
  • Cooking can help to break down the cellular walls of foods. Not only will this help with digestion, but it also unlocks extra polyphenols your body is able to absorb and use. 
    • Cooking with oils can help to bring out even more of the polyphenols your body craves. Cooking tomatoes in olive oil is a great representation of this phenomenon. 
  • Fermentation happens inside of your large intestines to get the most nutritional value out of your foods. While your body naturally does this, when certain foods are fermented ahead of time — like grapes for wine — you’re nudging that process along and giving your body more of those polyphenols you may not have gotten before. 

Allowing your body to use the largest quantity of bioavailable polyphenols that weren’t originally bio accessible helps to supercharge your gut and therefore your entire body. 

Polyphenols are found in so many foods we associate with good health, including:

  • Flax seeds
  • Chestnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Berries
  • Cacao
  • Spinach
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Black beans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Artichokes
  • Wine

There are also many spices that are very high in beneficial polyphenols, including:

  • Peppermint
  • Cloves
  • Spearmint
  • Oregano
  • Celery seed
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

 

Since polyphenols are often responsible for rich colors, you can sometimes guess if a food is high in polyphenols if they have a dark color (such as plums and berries).

When you incorporate more of these into your diet, you’ll experience the benefit of polyphenols.

 

Quebracho the Little-Known Source of Polyphenols

Quebracho Colorado is an excellent source of the world’s most stable polyphenol.

The water-soluble tannins (a type of polyphenol) in quebracho has made it of particular interest in the world of natural medicine.

Tannins have a higher molecular weight than polyphenols because they are polymers of flavonoid units (think clusters).

These large molecules aren’t easily digested and for a long time scientists thought they carried little benefit.

We now know, that much like fiber, these large polyphenols clusters are beneficial precisely because they aren’t absorbed but remain in the gastrointestinal tract longer.

They have been observed to be beneficial in fighting microbial infections, fighting cancer and scavenging damaging free radicals.

Quebracho Colorado is currently only found in Atrantil, a botanical blend of polyphenols. To get your daily intake of polyphenols you have to eat 4 cups of cherries, whereas you can take one dose of Atrantil to get the same benefit.

Polyphenols: What They Do

The Amazing Benefits of Polyphenols

Polyphenols pack a serious punch when it comes to how they benefit your health.  However, not all polyphenols are created equal. Just like every fruit is not the same flavor, shape, texture or size, neither are its nutritional properties. 

Studies have found polyphenols to be associated with a number of specific health benefits, including improving:

  • Support the Immune System – Scientific evidence has shown polyphenols enhance the natural defense of the immune system, as well as act as a natural antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial molecule.
  • Gut health – Studies have found that polyphenols positively impact the composition of the gut microbiome and help with digestive issues such as SIBO.
  • Heart health – Polyphenols promote good cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Exercise Performance – Polyphenols have been shown to promote muscle health by decreasing muscle soreness post-workout, promote strength enhancement and increase oxygen uptake during and after exercise.
  • Signs of aging – Well known for their anti-aging properties, studies have found that polyphenols actually limit the effects of aging on a cellular level.
  • Weight management – Studies have linked polyphenols to an improvement in weight management, which could be due to the improvement in the gut microbiome composition.
  • Blood sugar regulation – Science has found that high polyphenol foods are great for maintaining glucose homeostasis. This is especially good news for anyone who is prediabetic or has diabetes.
  • Oxidative stress – Oxidative stress is caused when there are too many reactive oxygen species and not enough protective factors, which turns on inflammatory pathways. Polyphenols have been found to not only reduce inflammation but inhibit these pathways, which stops the vicious cycle.
  • Fight neurodegenerative disorders – Polyphenols are protective against neurodegeneration and related diseases. This is why doctors often recommend polyphenols to patients with early signs of cognitive decline.
  • Fight cancer cells – Polyphenols fight cancer cells through reducing inflammation but also through various cellular mechanisms. Studies have found that polyphenols can interrupt enzymes, and interact with nucleic acids, nucleoproteins, and intracellular receptors to fight cancer growth.

Some of the more well-known beneficial polyphenol groups include:

  • Resveratrol

Resveratrol is part of the stilbene family. It is found in berries, some nuts, wine and dark chocolate.

Beneficial effects of resveratrol on the body include:

  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-cancer
  • Neuroprotective
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Supports endothelial mitochondria function
  • Increases nitric oxide production
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases platelet aggregation (blood clots)

Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG)

EGCG is a part of the catechin class of polyphenols. EGCG is found mainly in teas, but especially green tea.

Green tea has fantastic benefits for the entire body. 

Beneficial effects of EGCG on the body include:

  • Protection against endothelial dysfunction
  • Reducing body weight, BMI and waist circumference
  • Reducing and preventing neurogenerative impairment in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  • Increasing nitric oxide production
  • Reducing high blood pressure and reactive oxygen species
  • Normalizing cholesterol levels
  • Decreasing plaques and atherosclerotic damage
  • Antithrombotic (reduces the formation of blood clots)
  • Lowering the risks of cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac cell damage/injury

Curcumin

Curcumin is found mostly in turmeric and helps with brain and cardiovascular health.

Beneficial effects of Curcumin on the body include:

  • Slows down or prevents Alzheimer’s disease
  • Management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions
  • Helps to reduce or prevent anxiety
  • Cancer fighting properties
  • Decreases LDL and triglyceride levels while increases HDL
  • Blocks angII stimulation (angII is responsible for increasing blood pressure)
  • Reduces reactive oxygen species
  • Inhibits development of atherosclerosis
  • Protects aortic and endothelial cells

Quercetin

Quercetin belongs to the flavonoid family. It is found naturally in many foods including onions, leafy greens, apples, berries and teas.

Beneficial effects of quercetin on the body include:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Killing cancer cells
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Improving all cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Anti-clotting effects
  • Improving endothelial function
  • Reducing lipid deposits on arterial walls regardless of diet
  • Great source of antioxidants

With such a wide range of benefits, it is clear that getting plenty of polyphenols is essential to overall health.

 

Polyphenols for Gut Health

Polyphenols Stop and Prevent Gut Issues

Atrantil has three main ingredients. All three ingredients are polyphenols that support overall body health. These ingredients fight the root cause of bloating and abdominal discomfort, with/without change in bowel habits (constipation and/or diarrhea), to eliminate gut issues and promote overall gut health.

Each ingredient was carefully selected to help the gut and inhibit the production of the gases. 

Our three polyphenol ingredients are:

  • Peppermint
  • Quebracho Colorado
  • Horse Chestnut

Peppermint

Peppermint has long been used to calm upset stomachs and is used in numerous products because of its potency and health benefits.

Peppermint is used in Atrantil to help to soothe and calm down inflammation in your gut to make way for our other ingredients to work.

 

Quebracho Colorado

Quebracho Colorado is an extremely powerful polyphenol that acts as a hydrogen sink. 

(In scientific terms, a sink is a product or part of the environment that absorbs substances.)

Quebracho Colorado sucks up excess hydrogen in your gut, so that there is less hydrogen to be converted into methane (which causes bloating and constipation) or hydrogen sulfide (which causes diarrhea).

Secondly, it begins to compromise the lipid bilayer of archaebacteria, which basically means that it begins to make a hole in the cell wall to allow the horse chestnut to do its job.

 

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut finds where the cell wall of the archaebacteria has been compromised and then shuts down the methane or hydrogen sulfide-producing mechanism of the archaebacteria, rendering them useless. 

This creates a hostile environment for the archaea, and they go back into the colon where they belong.

The second function of the Horse Chestnut is that it has bactericidal properties, which starts to remove the “normal” bacteria from the small intestine as well.

In all, Atrantil’s function is threefold:

  1. Gets rid of hydrogen, so there is less hydrogen to be made into methane or hydrogen sulfide.
  2. Gets rid of the bacteria and gets it to go back into the colon.
  3. Gets rid of the archaebacteria, so it goes back into the colon where it belongs.

With theses 3 functions, the polyphenols in Atrantil allow your small intestine to flow freely once again and allows the bacteria to go back to the colon where they belong, relieving you from your terrible symptoms.

Polyphenols Affect Overall Gut Health

Atrantil acts as both a prebiotic and a postbiotic, so it offers your gut and body many benefits outside of bacterial overgrowth related issues.

Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria. Essentially, the prebiotic serves as food and nourishes tiny living microorganisms, including bacteria in the microflora. Prebiotics can alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome, this helps the gut bacteria produce nutrients for your colon cells and leads to a healthier digestive system.

Polyphenols have been found to stimulate growth of good bacteria while fighting pathogenic bacteria that shouldn’t be there. 

Polyphenols, such as the ones in Atrantil, also serve as postbiotics in the gut. Postbiotics can include many different constituents including metabolites, short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), microbial cell fractions, functional proteins, extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), cell lysates, teichoic acid, peptidoglycan-derived muropeptides and pili-type structures.

Postbiotics break down dietary fibers and convert them into a wide range of compounds that are referred to as postbiotic metabolites. Postbiotic metabolites are the master health-regulating compounds in the body. They play a role in regulating every organ system, including your immune system and your brain.

Polyphenols for Immune Support

Research on polyphenols have been shown to protect and support the immune system against various viruses in the following ways:

  • Daily supplementation of the polyphenols in Atrantil may enhance the natural defense of the immune system, as well as act as a natural antiviral and antimicrobial molecule.
  • Polyphenols have been shown to act as ionophores, driving zinc into the cells more efficiently. Intracellular zinc is essential to stop viral replication and spread.
  • There is scientific evidence to show that Polyphenols block the viral M-PRO protease that the virus needs in order to begin replication. This slows down cellular infiltration by the virus.
  • Polyphenols are long established to protect gut health. Recent data shows COVID-19 recovering patients can still test positive in fecal samples for up to five weeks post infection. A healthy gut status is imperative to an optimized immune system.
  • Atrantil’s polyphenols have shown they can aid in down regulation of inflammatory receptors, such as NLRP3 inflammasomes, which in turn can prevent a cytokine storm.

Scientific research has shown that polyphenols, such as those in Atrantil, enhance the natural defense of the immune system, as well as act as a natural antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial molecule.

Polyphenols for Athletes

Bloating

Whey protein as well as other supplements athletes take can really take a toll on digestive health.

Protein supplements have been shown to decrease the health-promoting bacteria in the gut. This imbalance or dysbiosis of the gut bacteria can lead to an array of unwanted diseases and cause uncomfortable gas and gut distension.

The polyphenols in Atrantil work to restore gut balance by taking care of the root cause of the bloat and gut issues in the small intestine. Atrantil targets the bacteria in the small intestine, to get it to go back to where it belongs – the colon, thus eliminating the gases in the small intestine which cause adverse issues.

Taking just 2 capsules of Atrantil 3 times per day with meals provides healing and protection against bloating and abdominal discomfort with/without change in bowel habits. Not only are the natural ingredients in Atrantil good for gut issues, they help with overall athletic performance.

Performance Benefits

The polyphenols in Atrantil play many roles. They act as scavengers to protect the gut and serve as prebiotics, providing fuel for the bacteria in the gut, before they are broken down into beneficial postbiotics/byproducts for the entire body. In addition, polyphenols provide many performance and exercise benefits.

These polyphenolic benefits include:

  • Promote muscle health by decreasing muscle soreness post-workout
    • When muscles tear, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are released after exercise. A buildup of these ROS are what cause soreness after a workout. Atrantil’s polyphenols help reduce this soreness by scavenging the ROS that has been released.
  • Increase oxygen uptake during and after exercise
    • The polyphenols promote increased VO₂max. VO₂max is the body’s capability of properly distributing oxygen muscles so they can perform at their best.
    • Increasing VO2max is a fine-tuning mechanism for performance. This increase allows for better delivery of oxygen to tissues and allows for better waste gas exchange by the lungs, allowing the body to maintain a better pH balance during activity.
    • An improvement in VO2max is usually seen as a result of better cardiac output and better circulation.
  • Promote strength enhancement
    • Polyphenols decrease the negative effects of muscle damage after strength training. The flavonoids in Atrantil help scavenge inflammatory mediators that help reduce muscle inflammation and pain after a tough workout. In addition, they retain more muscle strength after a period of not training.
  • Increase the body’s ability to scavenge free radicals which helps reduce oxidative stress
    • The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects can help heal the inflammation and pain experienced post-workout.
    • During workouts, the body has a harder time ridding itself of destructive and harmful oxygen radicals. This induces oxidative stress by creating reactive oxygen. These reactive oxygens are damaging molecules known as free radicals, which cause inflammation in the body. Polyphenols are able to do the opposite, by increasing your body’s natural defense system of Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). ORAC neutralizes and eliminates free radicals, which can lead to oxidative stress and ultimately diseases like cancer and heart disease. This reduces pain and inflammation from muscle damage.

Daily polyphenol intake of over 1000mg has been shown to deliver both the performance and recovery benefits. In just cherries alone, that could be as many as 3-4 large cups. However, just 2 doses of Atrantil can provide enough polyphenols for the beneficial effects.  Atrantil is also NSF certified for sport, so you can rest assured that it is not only effective, but safe as well.