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      Polyphenols and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

      Current Opinion in Lipidology

      Animals, Antioxidants, metabolism, Arteriosclerosis, prevention & control, Cardiovascular Diseases, epidemiology, physiopathology, Cricetinae, Disease Models, Animal, Endothelium, Vascular, Flavonoids, Humans, Mice, Polyphenols, Phenols

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          Abstract

          Polyphenols are the most abundant dietary antioxidants and research on their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases has developed quickly over these last few years. This paper reviews the recent studies on the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by polyphenols, focusing on human studies. A large number of recent intervention studies have shown that several biomarkers of cardiovascular risk are influenced by the consumption of polyphenol-rich foods. Effects on biomarkers of oxidative stress, lipemia and inflammation appear so far inconclusive. More consistent effects have been observed on endothelial function and haemostasis and support a reduction of risk by polyphenols in agreement with the few epidemiological studies already published. All clinical studies have used foods or beverages containing a mixture of different polyphenols and the exact nature of the most active compounds remains largely unknown. Absorption, metabolism and elimination vary widely between polyphenols. These data on bioavailability should be taken into account to improve the experimental design and the interpretation of the observed effects. Future intervention studies should include a detailed assessment of the bioavailability of polyphenols. Beyond clinical trials carried out with polyphenol-rich foods, more studies with pure polyphenols will also be needed to establish their role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

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          Short- and long-term black tea consumption reverses endothelial dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease.

          Epidemiological studies suggest that tea consumption decreases cardiovascular risk, but the mechanisms of benefit remain undefined. Endothelial dysfunction has been associated with coronary artery disease and increased oxidative stress. Some antioxidants have been shown to reverse endothelial dysfunction, and tea contains antioxidant flavonoids. Methods and Results-- To test the hypothesis that tea consumption will reverse endothelial dysfunction, we randomized 66 patients with proven coronary artery disease to consume black tea and water in a crossover design. Short-term effects were examined 2 hours after consumption of 450 mL tea or water. Long-term effects were examined after consumption of 900 mL tea or water daily for 4 weeks. Vasomotor function of the brachial artery was examined at baseline and after each intervention with vascular ultrasound. Fifty patients completed the protocol and had technically suitable ultrasound measurements. Both short- and long-term tea consumption improved endothelium- dependent flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery, whereas consumption of water had no effect (P<0.001 by repeated-measures ANOVA). Tea consumption had no effect on endothelium-independent nitroglycerin-induced dilation. An equivalent oral dose of caffeine (200 mg) had no short-term effect on flow-mediated dilation. Plasma flavonoids increased after short- and long-term tea consumption. Short- and long-term black tea consumption reverses endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. This finding may partly explain the association between tea intake and decreased cardiovascular disease events.
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            Flavonoid-Rich Dark Chocolate Improves Endothelial Function and Increases Plasma Epicatechin Concentrations in Healthy Adults

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              Reduced progression of atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice following consumption of red wine, or its polyphenols quercetin or catechin, is associated with reduced susceptibility of LDL to oxidation and aggregation.

              The effect of consuming red wine, or its major polyphenol constituents catechin or quercetin, on the development of atherosclerotic lesions, in relation to the susceptibility of plasma LDL to oxidation and to aggregation, was studied in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E deficient (E degree) mice. Forty E degree mice at the age of 4 weeks were divided into four groups, 10 mice in each group, and were supplemented for up to 6 weeks in their drinking water with placebo (1.1% alcohol); catechin or quercetin (50 micrograms/d per mouse), or red wine (0.5 mL/d per mouse). Consumption of catechin, quercetin, or red wine had no effect on plasma LDL or HDL cholesterol levels. The atherosclerotic lesion area was smaller in the treated mice by 39%, 46%, and 48%, respectively, in comparison with E degree mice that were treated with placebo. In accordance with these findings, cellular uptake of LDL derived after catechin, quercetin, or red wine consumption was found to be reduced by 31%, 40%, and 52%, respectively. These results were associated with reduced susceptibility to oxidation (induced by different modes such as copper ions, free radical generator, or macrophages) of LDL isolated after red wine or quercetin and, to a lesser extent after catechin consumption, in comparison with LDL isolated from the placebo group. Similar results were obtained when LDL was preincubated in vitro with red wine or with the polyphenols prior to its oxidation. Even in the basal oxidative state (not induced oxidation), LDL isolated from E degree mice that consumed catechin, quercetin, or red wine for 2 weeks was found to be less oxidized in comparison with LDL isolated from E degree mice that received placebo, as evidenced by 39%, 48%, and 49% reduced content of LDL-associated lipid peroxides, respectively. This effect could be related to enhanced serum paraoxonase activity in the polyphenol-treated mice. LDL oxidation was previously shown to lead to its aggregation. The present study demonstrated that the susceptibility of LDL to aggregation was reduced in comparison with placebo-treated mice, by 63%, 48%, or 50% by catechin, quercetin, and red wine consumption, respectively, and this effect could be shown also in vitro. The inhibition of LDL oxidation by polyphenols could be related, at least in part, to a direct effect of the polyphenols on the LDL, since both quercetin and catechin were found to bind to the LDL particle via the formation of an ether bond. We thus conclude that dietary consumption by E degree mice of red wine or its polyphenolic flavonoids quercetin and, to a lesser extent, catechin leads to attenuation in the development of the atherosclerotic lesion, and this effect is associated with reduced susceptibility of their LDL to oxidation and aggregation.
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