Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by autoimmune-mediated demyelination in the CNS resulting in paralysis and cognitive deficits. MS therapies can reduce inflammation and downregulate immune function. Earlier studies have also shown that flavinoids limit demyelination in MS suggesting their potential against neuro-inflammation and related disorders. Preclinical data has shown that polyphenols exhibit potential to block neural inflammation and damage. The potential of polyphenols on limiting demyelination makes them prospective therapeutics in age-related MS and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidants in our diets. The main classes of polyphenols are phenolic acids and flavonoids, which account for one- and two-thirds, respectively. Polyphenols are reducing agents, and together with other dietary reducing agents, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids, referred to as antioxidants, protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress and associated pathologies such as cancers, coronary heart disease and inflammation.
5. Polyphenols and Immune Response
Polyphenol-rich olive oil controlled inflammation by a costimulatory protein found on antigen presenting cells. Resveratrol also reduced neuroinflammation and improved memory. Studies have also shown that blueberry and apple polyphenols can attenuate neuroinflammation and improve cognitive impairment. Overall, polyphenols modulate immune response in neurodegenerative diseases as they induce expression of antiapoptotic factors, control neuroinflammation, and modulate cell signaling under stress. These features of polyphenols make them strong neuroprotective candidates and support their translation from laboratory to clinical trials.
In conclusion, recent scientific evidence suggests that neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by oxidative stress and inflammation. The prevention and treatment of these disorders with complex mechanisms need novel therapeutic strategies. Polyphenols are natural plant secondary metabolites which exhibit remarkable multipotent ability to control inflammation, apoptosis, signal transduction, ion channels, and neurotransmitters. Polyphenolic dietary antioxidants, particularly resveratrol, and those found in early harvest EVOO, are potent neuroprotectants. Their direct usage and dietary supplementation could act as antioxidant and neuroprotective therapy for treatment of these diseases.
Source : Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, Canada