Phenolic compounds play an essential role in plants and foods. These
compounds are well known for their biological and pharmaceutical activities. These
compounds act as colorants and antioxidants. Research on phenolic compounds is
mainly focused on their antioxidant properties. These compounds showed significant
effects on chronic degenerative diseases, such as central neurodegenerative disorders,
cataracts, macular degeneration (age-related), diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular
complication, and cancer. These compounds also showed implications on human health
since increased exposure to free radicals might lead to an increased risk of degenerative
diseases. Fruits and vegetables are rich in phenolic compounds. The phenolic
compound consists of one (phenolic acids) or more polyphenols aromatic structures
attached to a hydroxyl group. The phenolic compound is found in combination with
mono or polysaccharides, and they can occur in the group as an ester or methyl ester.
Their biological and pharmaceutical activities are based on their phenolic ring and a
hydroxyl group. Apart from antioxidant activity, they have many other therapeutic
effects on human health. Among the several classes of phenolic compounds, flavonoids,
tannins, and phenolic acids are considered as main dietary phenolic compounds. In this
chapter, we have summarized the biological and pharmaceutical activities related to
different classes of phenolic compounds.
Keywords: Antioxidant activity, Biological activity, Cardio-protective, Flavonoids, Oxidative stress, Pharmaceutical activity, Polyphenols.