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Evidence that cranberry juice may improve augmentation index in overweight men.

Ruel G. Lapointe A. Pomerleau S. Couture P. Lemieux S. Lamarche B. Couillard C.
Nutr Res 33(1):41-9

The stiffening of arteries is a key step in atherogenesis leading to cardiovascular disease. It has been suggested that dietary polyphenols may be cardioprotective through possible favorable effects on oxidative stress and vascular function. The present study was undertaken in order to examine the effect of consuming low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail (CJC), a source of polyphenols, on arterial stiffness in abdominally obese men. We hypothesize that regular CJC consumption will reduce circulating oxidized low-density lipoproteins concentrations and have a beneficial impact on endothelial function. Thirty-five men (mean age +/- SD: 45 +/- 10 years) were randomly assigned to drink 500 mL CJC/day (27% juice) or 500 mL placebo juice (PJ)/day for 4 weeks in a double-blind crossover design. Augmentation index (AIx), an index of arterial stiffness, was measured by applanation tonometry of the radial artery and the cardiometabolic profile was assessed in each participant before and after each phase of the study. We found no significant difference in AIx changes between men who consumed CJC or PJ for 4 weeks (P = .5820). Furthermore, there was no between-treatment difference in changes in AIx responses to salbutamol (P = .6303) and glyceryl trinitrate (P = .4224). No significant difference was noted in other cardiometabolic variables between men consuming PJ or CJC. However, a significant within group decrease in AIx (mean decrease +/- SE; -14.0 +/- 5.8%, P = .019) was noted following the consumption of 500 mL CJC/day for 4 weeks. Our results indicate that the effect of chronic consumption of CJC on AIx was not significantly different from changes associated with the consumption of PJ. However, the significant within-group decrease in AIx following CJC consumption in abdominally obese men may deserve further investigation.