Interindividual variability in biomarkers of cardiometabolic health after consumption of major plant-food bioactive compounds and the determinants involved

Dragan Milenkovic, Christine Morand, Aedin Cassidy, Aleksandra Konic-Ristic, Francisco Tomás-Barberán, José M Ordovas, Paul Kroon, Raffaele De Caterina, Ana Rodriguez-Mateos

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Cardiometabolic disease, comprising cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and their associated risk factors including metabolic syndrome and obesity, is the leading cause of death worldwide. Plant foods are rich sources of different groups of bioactive compounds, which might not be essential throughout life but promote health and well-being by reducing the risk of age-related chronic diseases. However, heterogeneity in the responsiveness to bioactive compounds can obscure associations between their intakes and health outcomes, resulting in the hiding of health benefits for specific population groups and thereby limiting our knowledge of the exact role of the different bioactive compounds for health. The heterogeneity in response suggests that some individuals may benefit more than others from the health effects of these bioactive compounds. However, to date, this interindividual variation after habitual intake of plant bioactive compounds has been little explored. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the existing research that has revealed interindividual variability in the responsiveness to plant-food bioactive compound consumption regarding cardiometabolic outcomes, focusing on polyphenols, caffeine and plant sterols, and the identified potential determinants involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-570
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • plant-food bioactives
  • interindividual variability
  • cardiometabolic health
  • determinants of interindividual variability
  • biological responsiveness

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