How polyphenols might work. Blocking or modulating growth and stress signalling reduces growth drive and redox stress, so reducing need for activation of 'growth' stress inhibitory pathways (e.g. JNK). Mildly inhibiting mitochondrial function may decrease ATP and increase ROS, which is a strong stimulus for mitochondrial biogenesis (it is a hormetic signal), resulting in an enhanced anti-inflammatory/ROS cellular phenotype (1). However, excessive inhibition of this pathway may induce apoptosis in some cell types (2). This paradigm might follow the general evolutionary function of these polyphenols in plants: improved resistance to stress and pathogens.