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Heart. 2016 Sep 1;102(17):1371-9. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2015-309218. Epub 2016 May 10.

Beneficial effect of a polyphenol-rich diet on cardiovascular risk: a randomised control trial.

Author information

1
Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK Cardiology Department, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK.
2
Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK.
3
Cardiology Department, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, UK.
4
Centre for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

There is previous epidemiological evidence that intake of polyphenol-rich foods has been associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk. We aimed to investigate the effect of increasing dietary polyphenol intake on microvascular function in hypertensive participants.

METHODS:

All participants completed a 4-week run-in phase, consuming <2 portions of fruit and vegetables (F&V) daily and avoiding berries and dark chocolate. Subjects were then randomised to continue with the low-polyphenol diet for 8 weeks or to consume a high-polyphenol diet of six portions F&V (including one portion of berries/day and 50 g of dark chocolate). Endothelium-dependent (acetylcholine, ACh) and endothelium-independent (sodium nitroprusside) vasodilator responses were assessed by venous occlusion plethysmography. Compliance with the intervention was measured using food diaries and biochemical markers.

RESULTS:

Final analysis of the primary endpoint was conducted on 92 participants. Between-group comparison of change in maximum % response to ACh revealed a significant improvement in the high-polyphenol group (p=0.02). There was a significantly larger increase in vitamin C, carotenoids and epicatechin in the high-polyphenol group (between-group difference p<0.001; p<0.001; p=0.008, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study has shown that increasing the polyphenol content of the diet via consumption of F&V, berries and dark chocolate results in a significant improvement in an established marker of cardiovascular risk in hypertensive participants.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:

NCT01319786.

PMID:
27164919
DOI:
10.1136/heartjnl-2015-309218
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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