Proanthocyanidins: Components, Pharmacokinetics and Biomedical Properties

The American Journal of Chinese Medicine
Yan-Xi ZengYi-Han Chen


Proanthocyanidins (PAs) are a group of polyphenols enriched in plant and human food. In recent decades, epidemiological studies have upheld the direct relationship between PA consumption and health benefits; therefore, studies on PAs have become a research hotspot. Although the oral bioavailability of PAs is quite low, pharmacokinetics data revealed that some small molecules and colonic microbial metabolites of PAs could be absorbed and exert their health beneficial effects. The pharmacological effects of PAs mainly include anti-oxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammation, antimicrobial, cardiovascular protection, neuroprotection, and metabolism-regulation behaviors. Moreover, current toxicological studies show that PAs have no observable toxicity to humans. This review summarizes the resources, extraction, structures, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, and toxicology of PAs and discusses the limitations of current studies. Areas for further research are also proposed.


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