Polyphenols as food bioactive compounds in the context of Autism Spectrum Disorders: A critical mini-review.


CNC - Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address: [Email]


Dietary polyphenols are bioactive compounds with potential in preventing and treating several chronic disorders, mainly due to their ability to modulate key pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant signalling pathways. Although some studies have expressed concern about their efficacy in vivo, accumulating evidence has suggested that these compounds may achieve large concentrations in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be important in the context of intestinal and of neurological disorders, via modulation of the "gut-brain axis". Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders in which many patients suffer from gastrointestinal impairments. Thus, in the scope of these disorders, a growing number of studies have been focused on the microbiota-gut-brain axis. In this mini-review, we present gathered data on gut-to-brain communication in the scope of ASD and we address the advantages of polyphenols in the treatment of these disorders, presenting the more recent preclinical and clinical data on this issue. According to most studies, dietary polyphenols can be a promising strategy for the alleviation of ASD symptoms.


Autism spectrum disorders,Gut-brain axis,Intestinal inflammation,Neuroinflammation,Polyphenols,