Flavonoid-rich foods decrease risk of heart disease by improving endothelial function

Researchers from Australia examined the effect apple consumption had on the endothelial function of people at risk for cardiovascular disease. The results of these findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism.

  • Endothelial dysfunction is a predictor of cardiovascular risk.
  • Previous studies revealed that there is an inverse link between apple consumption and coronary mortality.
  • The skin of the apple is rich in flavonoid. Flavonoid-rich foods are said to improve endothelial function.
  • Thus, researchers tested whether short-term or long-term (four weeks) consumption of flavonoid-rich apple would enhance endothelial function and blood pressure of individuals with at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • The study was a randomized, controlled, cross-over trial that involved 30 individuals with one or more cardiovascular risk factors, such as high systolic blood pressure, high blood glucose level, increased total cholesterol, or obesity.
  • The participants either ate apples with skin or apple flesh only as a control.
  • The researchers examined acute and chronic changes in blood pressure, endothelial function, arterial stiffness, and levels of plasma flavonoid metabolites, cholesterol, glucose, nitrate, and nitrite.
  • Moreover, they analyzed changes between interventions by mixed models ANOVA with adjustments for baseline.
  • Results showed that there were significant improvements in endothelial function two hours after short-term intake and after chronic consumption of apple with skin than the control. However, no other changes were observed in other measurements.

The researchers concluded that their findings support the theory that flavonoid-rich foods prevent cardiovascular disease by enhancing endothelial function, both in the short-term and long-term consumption.

For the full text of the study, go to this link.

Journal Reference:

Bondonno NP, Bondonno CP, Rich L, Ward NC, Hodgson JM, Croft KD. FLAVONOID-RICH APPLE IMPROVES ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION IN INDIVIDUALS AT RISK FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. Journal of Nutrition & Intermediary Metabolism. 2017; 8: 79-80. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnim.2017.04.071

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