Writing about their findings in The FASEB Journal, the researchers said that consuming polyphenols simultaneously with fatty foods might reduce the risks associated with such foods.
"We suggest a new hypothesis to explain polyphenols. For the first time, these compounds were demonstrated to prevent significantly the appearance of toxic food derivative compounds in human plasma," said Joseph Kanner, senior author of the report.
During the study, six men and four women were fed three different meals consisting of dark-meat turkey cutlets. One of the meals consisted of turkey meat and water, dubbed the control meal by the researchers.
The second meal consisted of turkey meat with polyphenols added after cooking (one tablespoon of concentrated wine) followed with a glass of red wine (about 7oz), while the third meal consisted of turkey meat with polyphenols added before cooking and then followed by a glass of wine.
The researchers measured levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), a natural by-product of fat digestion known to increase the risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions, in the subjects' blood and urine samples at various stages during the study.
It was found that MDA levels nearly quintupled after the control meal, while MDA was nearly eliminated after subjects consumed the meals with polyphenols.
"As long as deep-fried candy bars are on menus, scientists will need to keep serving up new ways to prevent the cellular damage caused by these very tasty treats. This study suggests that the time will come where people can eat french fries without plugging their arteries," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.
From the January 7, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash