A critical review on grape polyphenols for neuroprotection: Strategies to enhance bioefficacy

Danyue Zhao, James E. Simon, Qingli Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


The aging of populations worldwide is driving greater demands for dietary polyphenols which have been recognized as promising prophylactic and/or therapeutic agents in the context of neurodegeneration, and are ubiquitously present in plant-based diets. In particular, grape-derived products encompass a wide array of phenolic compounds purported with multiple health benefits including neuroprotective efficacy. Despite the increasing preclinical and clinical evidence demonstrating high potential of grape polyphenol (GPP)-rich botanicals in preventing and attenuating diverse neurodegenerative disorders, the limited bioavailability of GPPs, especially in the brain, generates questions as to their applications and effectiveness in neuroprotection. To address this issue, significant research efforts have been made to enhance oral bioavailability of GPPs via application of novel strategies. This review highlights some critical issues related to the bioavailability and neuroprotective efficacy of GPPs and GPP-rich botanicals. The representative bioavailability-enhancing strategies are critically reviewed to provide practical solutions for augmenting the bioefficacy of GPP-rich botanicals. Synergistic applications of encapsulation techniques (for physiochemical protection and bypassing xenobiotic metabolism) and dietary intervention strategies involving modulation of gut microbiota (for generating more bioavailable phenolic metabolites) appear promising, and may substantially enhance the bioefficacy, especially the neuroprotective efficacy, of orally consumed GPPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-625
Number of pages29
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • bioavailability
  • bioefficacy
  • Grape polyphenols
  • metabolism
  • neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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