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Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans.
J Hypertens 2003; 21(12):2281-6JH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Consumption of flavonoid-rich beverages, including tea and red wine, has been associated with a reduction in coronary events, but the physiological mechanism remains obscure. Cocoa can contain extraordinary concentrations of flavanols, a flavonoid subclass shown to activate nitric oxide synthase in vitro.

OBJECTIVE

To test the hypothesis that flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in humans.

DESIGN

The study prospectively assessed the effects of Flavanol-rich cocoa, using both time and beverage controls. Participants were blinded to intervention; the endpoint was objective and blinded.

METHODS

Pulse wave amplitude was measured on the finger in 27 healthy people with a volume-sensitive validated calibrated plethysmograph, before and after 5 days of consumption of Flavanol-rich cocoa [821 mg of flavanols/day, quantitated as (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, and related procyanidin oligomers]. The specific nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) was infused intravenously on day 1, before cocoa, and on day 5, after an acute ingestion of cocoa.

RESULTS

Four days of flavanol-rich cocoa induced consistent and striking peripheral vasodilation (P = 0.009). On day 5, pulse wave amplitude exhibited a large additional acute response to cocoa (P = 0.01). L-NAME completely reversed this vasodilation (P = 0.004). In addition, intake of flavanol-rich cocoa augmented the vasodilator response to ischemia. Flavanol-poor cocoa induced much smaller responses (P = 0.005), and none was induced in the time-control study. Flavanol-rich cocoa also amplified the systemic pressor effects of L-NAME (P = 0.005).

CONCLUSION

In healthy humans, flavanol-rich cocoa induced vasodilation via activation of the nitric oxide system, providing a plausible mechanism for the protection that flavanol-rich foods induce against coronary events.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. nfisher@partners.orgNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

14654748

Citation

Fisher, Naomi D L., et al. "Flavanol-rich Cocoa Induces Nitric-oxide-dependent Vasodilation in Healthy Humans." Journal of Hypertension, vol. 21, no. 12, 2003, pp. 2281-6.
Fisher ND, Hughes M, Gerhard-Herman M, et al. Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. J Hypertens. 2003;21(12):2281-6.
Fisher, N. D., Hughes, M., Gerhard-Herman, M., & Hollenberg, N. K. (2003). Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. Journal of Hypertension, 21(12), pp. 2281-6.
Fisher ND, et al. Flavanol-rich Cocoa Induces Nitric-oxide-dependent Vasodilation in Healthy Humans. J Hypertens. 2003;21(12):2281-6. PubMed PMID: 14654748.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in healthy humans. AU - Fisher,Naomi D L, AU - Hughes,Meghan, AU - Gerhard-Herman,Marie, AU - Hollenberg,Norman K, PY - 2003/12/5/pubmed PY - 2004/11/5/medline PY - 2003/12/5/entrez SP - 2281 EP - 6 JF - Journal of hypertension JO - J. Hypertens. VL - 21 IS - 12 N2 - BACKGROUND: Consumption of flavonoid-rich beverages, including tea and red wine, has been associated with a reduction in coronary events, but the physiological mechanism remains obscure. Cocoa can contain extraordinary concentrations of flavanols, a flavonoid subclass shown to activate nitric oxide synthase in vitro. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that flavanol-rich cocoa induces nitric-oxide-dependent vasodilation in humans. DESIGN: The study prospectively assessed the effects of Flavanol-rich cocoa, using both time and beverage controls. Participants were blinded to intervention; the endpoint was objective and blinded. METHODS: Pulse wave amplitude was measured on the finger in 27 healthy people with a volume-sensitive validated calibrated plethysmograph, before and after 5 days of consumption of Flavanol-rich cocoa [821 mg of flavanols/day, quantitated as (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, and related procyanidin oligomers]. The specific nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) was infused intravenously on day 1, before cocoa, and on day 5, after an acute ingestion of cocoa. RESULTS: Four days of flavanol-rich cocoa induced consistent and striking peripheral vasodilation (P = 0.009). On day 5, pulse wave amplitude exhibited a large additional acute response to cocoa (P = 0.01). L-NAME completely reversed this vasodilation (P = 0.004). In addition, intake of flavanol-rich cocoa augmented the vasodilator response to ischemia. Flavanol-poor cocoa induced much smaller responses (P = 0.005), and none was induced in the time-control study. Flavanol-rich cocoa also amplified the systemic pressor effects of L-NAME (P = 0.005). CONCLUSION: In healthy humans, flavanol-rich cocoa induced vasodilation via activation of the nitric oxide system, providing a plausible mechanism for the protection that flavanol-rich foods induce against coronary events. SN - 0263-6352 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/14654748/Flavanol_rich_cocoa_induces_nitric_oxide_dependent_vasodilation_in_healthy_humans_ L2 - http://Insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=14654748 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -