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Effects of a flavonol-rich diet on select cardiovascular parameters in a Golden Syrian hamster model.

Kalgaonkar S, Gross HB, Yokoyama W, Keen CL
J Med Food 13(1):108-15

The concept that the consumption of a diet rich in flavonoids can be associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease is becoming increasingly accepted. In the present study we investigated the effects of the following four diets on blood pressure and cholesterol ester levels in hypercholesterolemic Golden Syrian hamsters: a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet (HFHC); a HFHC with 2% cranberry concentrate powder (HFHC+CE); a HFHC with 0.1% rutin (HFHC+Rutin); and a HFHC with 30 mg/kg vitamin E (HFHC+Vit.E). Diets were fed for either 12 or 20 weeks. Over the experimental period, heart rate and blood pressure measurements increased in the animals fed HFHC and HFHC+Vit.E; in contrast, these measurements were not increased in the animals fed HFHC+CE and HFHC+Rutin. Mesenteric and total abdominal fat were significantly lower in the animals fed HFHC+Rutin than in animals fed the other three diets. Ratios of plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) to very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and of plasma HDL-C to low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were significantly higher in animals consuming HFHC+Vit.E than in animals fed the other three diets. Aortic cholesteryl ester levels were significantly lower in animals fed HFHC+CE, HFHC+Rutin, and HFHC+Vit.E at 20 weeks than in the animals fed HFHC. Fasting blood glucose concentrations were significantly lower in animals fed HFHC+Rutin and HFHC+Vit.E, and glucose clearance rates improved in animals fed HFHC+Rutin compared to animals fed the other three diets. Results obtained from this study support the concept that the chronic consumption of a flavonoid-rich diet can be beneficial