International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Feb 2021)

Protective Role of Polyphenols in Heart Failure: Molecular Targets and Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Their Therapeutic Potential

  • Rami S. Najjar,
  • Rafaela G. Feresin

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 4
p. 1668


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Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of death in the United States, with a 5-year mortality rate of 50% despite modern pharmacological therapies. Plant-based diets are comprised of a diverse polyphenol profile, which lends to their association with reduced cardiovascular disease risk. Whether a polyphenol-rich diet can slow the progression of or reverse HF in humans is not known. To date, in vitro and in vivo studies have reported on the protective role of polyphenols in HF. In this review, we will discuss the major mechanisms by which polyphenols mitigate HF in vitro and in vivo, including (1) reduced cardiac inflammation and oxidative stress, (2) reduced mitochondrial dysfunction, (3) improved Ca2+ homeostasis, (4) increased survival signaling, and (5) increased sirtuin 1 activity.