By Allergen Bureau

Can Plant Polyphenols Help To Fix The Growing Food Allergy Problem? 

Polyphenols from plants have significant anti-allergic effects and are an important source of anti-allergic drug research and development globally. In a recent publication about advances in the anti-allergic efficacy of plant polyphenols, flavonoids are associated with the most outstanding research progress in recent years. 

Plant polyphenols are a group of naturally occurring compounds found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. As well as having anti-allergic effects, they have been found to hold a variety of health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Certain flavonoids have been shown to modulate the expression of genes associated with allergic reactions.  

Previous studies have demonstrated that consuming plant polyphenols may help to reduce the impact of food allergies. For example, an animal study found that dietary supplementation with the plant polyphenol quercetin reduced the severity of allergic reactions. Another study found that people who ate a diet rich in plant polyphenols were less likely to develop food allergies. 

However, research on plant polyphenols is still in its early stages, and there is limited understanding of their molecular targeting mechanism and efficacy. There are few studies on the structure–activity relationship of plant polyphenols and the key functional groups and spatial structures that characterize their efficacy. In addition, plant polyphenols have inherent cross-reactivity with many reported allergens, which severely affects their application as anti-allergy drugs. 

More research is needed to understand the potential of plant polyphenols for allergy treatment. 

Reference: Wu et al. Exploring plant polyphenols as anti-allergic functional products to manage the growing incidence of food allergy. Front Nutr. 2023 Jun 9;10:1102225. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023. Open Access.