Pleiotropic benefit of monomeric and oligomeric flavanols on vascular health - a randomized controlled clinical pilot study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular diseases are expanding to a major social-economic burden in the Western World and undermine man's deep desire for healthy ageing. Epidemiological studies suggest that flavanol-rich foods (e.g. grapes, wine, chocolate) sustain cardiovascular health. For an evidenced-based application, however, sound clinical data on their efficacy are strongly demanded. METHODS: In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention study we supplemented 28 male smokers with 200 mg per day of monomeric and oligomeric flavanols (MOF) from grape seeds. At baseline, after 4 and 8 weeks we measured macro- and microvascular function and a cluster of systemic biomarkers for major pathological processes occurring in the vasculature: disturbances in lipid metabolism and cellular redox balance, and activation of inflammatory cells and platelets. RESULTS: In the MOF group serum total cholesterol and LDL decreased significantly (P</=0.05) by 5% (n = 11) and 7% (n = 9), respectively in volunteers with elevated baseline levels. Additionally, after 8 weeks the ratio of glutathione to glutathione disulphide in erythrocytes rose from baseline by 22% (n = 15, P<0.05) in MOF supplemented subjects. We also observed that MOF supplementation exerts anti-inflammatory effects in blood towards ex vivo added bacterial endotoxin and significantly reduces expression of inflammatory genes in leukocytes. Conversely, alterations in macro- and microvascular function, platelet aggregation, plasma levels of nitric oxide surrogates, endothelin-1, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, prostaglandin F2alpha, plasma antioxidant capacity and gene expression levels of antioxidant defense enzymes did not reach statistical significance after 8 weeks MOF supplementation. However, integrating all measured effects into a global, so-called vascular health index revealed a significant improvement of overall vascular health by MOF compared to placebo (P</=0.05). CONCLUSION: Our integrative multi-biomarker approach unveiled the pleiotropic vascular health benefit of an 8 weeks supplementation with 200 mg/d MOF in humans. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00742287.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28460
Number of pages12
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume6
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2011

Keywords

  • CORONARY-HEART-DISEASE
  • CIGARETTE-SMOKING
  • CARDIOVASCULAR-DISEASE
  • ENDOTHELIAL DYSFUNCTION
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • MEDITERRANEAN DIET
  • ARGINASE ACTIVITY
  • BRACHIAL-ARTERY
  • CHRONIC SMOKERS
  • HUMAN PLASMA

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