Molecular determinants of the cardiometabolic improvements of dietary flavanols identified by an integrative analysis of nutrigenomic data from a systematic review of animal studies

Laurent-Emmanuel Monfoulet, Tatjana Ruskovska, Vladimir Ajdzanovic, Jaroslav Havlik, David Vauzour, Banu Bayram, Irena Krga, Corral Jara Karla Fabiola, Elena Kistanova, Desislava Abadjieva, Marika Massaro, Egeria Scodetti, Eirini Deligiannidou, Christos Kontogiorgis, Anna Arola-Arnal, Evert M. van Schothorst, Christine Morand, Dragan Milenkovic

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Scope: Flavanols are important polyphenols of the human diet with extensive demonstrations of their beneficial effects on cardiometabolic health. They contribute to preserve health acting on a large range of cellular processes. The underlying mechanisms of action of flavanols are not fully understood but involve a nutrigenomic regulation. 

Methods and Results: To further capture how the intake of dietary flavanols results in the modulation of gene expression, nutrigenomics data in response to dietary flavanols obtained from animal models of cardiometabolic diseases have been collected and submitted to a bioinformatics analysis. This systematic analysis shows that dietary flavanols modulate a large range of genes mainly involved in endocrine function, fatty acid metabolism, and inflammation. Several regulators of the gene expression have been predicted and include transcription factors, miRNAs and epigenetic factors. 

Conclusion: This review highlights the complex and multilevel action of dietary flavanols contributing to their strong potential to preserve cardiometabolic health. The identification of the potential molecular mediators and of the flavanol metabolites driving the nutrigenomic response in the target organs is still a pending question which the answer will contribute to optimize the beneficial health effects of dietary bioactives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100227
JournalMolecular Nutrition & Food Research
Issue number16
Early online date28 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • animal models
  • cardiometabolic health
  • dietary intervention
  • flavanols
  • nutrigenomic

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