High Dietary Polyphenols Associated With Longevity

It has always been know that eating foods high in polyphenols, the properties that give them their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and etc. capabilities, provides individuals with many health benefits.  There have been over 8,000 phenolic compounds identified to date in plants that have the above qualities.  Polyphenols are mainly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, grains, cacao, coffee, and tea.

Previously, nutritional studies focusing on dietary intake of certain foods was limited to participant’s memory through a respective self-reported questionnaire.  For the first time, researchers in Italy utilized another approach — directly measuring dietary intake of polyphenols through urinary output. They compared total urinary polyphenol (TUP) concentration in approximately 800 men and women ages 65 years and older for 12 years.  It was found that in the 34 % of participants that died, those who had survived had significantly higher amounts of TUP.  Therefore, it is proposed that eating foods high in these compounds might be associated with decreased mortality and longer living.


R. Zamora-Ros, M. Rabassa, A. Cherubini, M. Urpi-Sarda, S. Bandinelli, L. Ferrucci, C. Andres-Lacueva. “High Concentrations of a Urinary Biomarker of Polyphenol Intake Are Associated with Decreased Mortality in Older Adults”. Journal of Nutrition, 2013; 143 (9): 1445 DOI:10.3945/jn.113.177121