Polyphenols and ischemic stroke: Insight into one of the best strategies for prevention and treatment

Francesca Pacifici, Valentina Rovella, Donatella Pastore, Alfonso Bellia, Pasquale Abete, Giulia Donadel, Silvia Santini, Heinz Beck, Camillo Ricordi, Nicola Di Daniele, Davide Lauro, David Della-Morte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ischemic stroke (IS) is still among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. The pathogenic mechanisms beyond its development are several and are complex and this is the main reason why a functional therapy is still missed. The beneficial effects of natural compounds against cardiovascular diseases and IS have been investigated for a long time. In this article, we reviewed the association between the most studied polyphenols and stroke protection in terms of prevention, effect on acute phase, and rehabilitation. We described experimental and epidemiological studies reporting the role of flavonols, phenolic acid, and stilbens on ischemic mechanisms leading to stroke. We analyzed the principal animal models used to evaluate the impact of these micronutrients to cerebral blood flow and to molecular pathways involved in oxidative stress and inflammation modulation, such as sirtuins. We reported the most significant clinical trials demonstrated as the persistent use of polyphenols is clinically relevant in terms of the reduction of vascular risk factors for IS, such as Atrial Fibrillation. Interestingly, different kinds of polyphenols provide brain protection by activating different pathways and mechanisms, like inducing antithrombotic effect, such as Honokiol. For this reason, we discussed an appropriate integrative use of them as a possible therapeutic alternative against stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1967
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nutraceutical
  • Phytochemicals
  • Sirtuins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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