Author(s): Tarahovsky YS
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Abstract Plant polyphenols including flavonoids and tannins are important constituent of our everyday diet and medical herbals. It is broadly accepted that polyphenols may protect us from toxins, carcinogens and pollutants though the mechanisms of the polyphenols action is still not clear. Here we discuss the ability of polyphenols and especially gallate rich compounds like tannins and catechin gallates to interact with proteins and lipids, establish binding between adjacent bilayer surfaces and initiate membrane aggregation. This phenomena discovered in model experiments could also influence lateral segregation and compartmentalization of cell surface compounds and assist the cell-cell interaction and signal transduction. The involvement of plant polyphenols in communication between cells could be an important factor responsible for anticarcinogenic, vascular and cardioprotective activity of these compounds and speculated to be implicated in the evolution of human brain and intelligence.
This article was published in Plant Signal Behav
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy