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Br J Nutr. 2013 Apr 28;109(8):1442-52. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512003315. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

Effects of acute consumption of a fruit and vegetable purée-based drink on vasodilation and oxidative status.

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Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 226, Reading, Berks RG6 6AP, UK.


Epidemiological studies indicate that diets rich in fruits and vegetables (F&V) are protective against CVD. Puréed F&V products retain many beneficial components, including flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin C and dietary fibres. The present study aimed to establish the physiological effects of acute ingestion of a F&V purée-based drink (FVPD) on vasodilation, antioxidant status, phytochemical bioavailability and other CVD risk factors. A total of twenty-four subjects, aged 30-70 years, completed the randomised, single-blind, controlled, crossover test meal study. Subjects consumed 400 ml of the FVPD, or a fruit-flavoured sugar-matched control, after following a low-flavonoid diet for 5 d. Blood and urine samples were collected throughout the study day, and vascular reactivity was assessed at 90 min intervals using laser Doppler iontophoresis. The FVPD significantly increased plasma vitamin C (P= 0·002) and total nitrate/nitrite (P= 0·001) concentrations. There was a near significant time by treatment effect on ex vivo LDL oxidation (P= 0·068), with a longer lag phase after consuming the FVPD. During the 6 h after juice consumption, the antioxidant capacity of plasma increased significantly (P= 0·003) and there was a simultaneous increase in plasma and urinary phenolic metabolites (P< 0·05). There were significantly lower glucose and insulin peaks after ingestion of the FVPD compared with control (P= 0·019 and 0·003) and a trend towards increased endothelium-dependent vasodilation following FVPD consumption (P= 0·061). Overall, FVPD consumption significantly increased plasma vitamin C and total nitrate/nitrite concentrations, with a trend towards increased endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Puréed F&V products are useful vehicles for increasing micronutrient status, plasma antioxidant capacity and in vivo NO generation, which may contribute to CVD risk reduction.

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