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Cardiovascular Health & Anti-inflammatory Benefits

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Regulation of vascular endothelial function by procyanidin-rich foods and beverages

Posted: 
January 11, 2011
Authors: 
Caton PW, Pothecary MR, Lees DM, Khan NQ, Wood EG, Shoji T, Kanda T, Rull G and Corder R
Journal: 
J Agric Food Chem 58(7):4008-13
Abstract: 

Flavonoid-rich diets are associated with a lower mortality from cardiovascular disease. This has been linked to improvements in endothelial function. However, the specific flavonoids, or biologically active metabolites, conferring these beneficial effects have yet to be fully defined. In this experimental study of the effect of flavonoids on endothelial function cultured endothelial cells have been used as a bioassay with endothelin-1 (ET-1) synthesis being measured an index of the response.
Evaluation of the relative effects of extracts of cranberry juice compared to apple, cocoa, red wine, and green tea showed inhibition of ET-1 synthesis was dependent primarily on their oligomeric procyanidin content. Procyanidin-rich extracts of cranberry juice triggered morphological changes in endothelial cells with reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and increased immunostaining for phosphotyrosine residues. These actions were independent of antioxidant activity. Comparison of the effects of apple procyanidin monomers through heptamer showed a clear structure-activity
relationship. Although monomer, dimer, and trimer had little effect on ET-1 synthesis, procyanidin tetramer, pentamer, hexamer, and heptamer produced concentration-dependent decreases with IC50 values of 5.4, 1.6, 0.9, and 0.7 μM, respectively. Levels of ET-1 mRNA showed a similar
pattern of decreases, which were inversely correlated with increased expression of Kruppel-like factor 2 (KLF2), a key endothelial transcription factor with a broad range of antiatherosclerotic actions including suppression of ET-1 synthesis. Future investigations of procyanidin-rich products should assess the role KLF2 induction plays in the beneficial vascular effects of high flavonoid consumption.

Effects of ginger and cranberry

Posted: 
December 16, 2010
Authors: 
Liburt NR, McKeever KH, Streltsova JM, Franke WC, Gordon ME, Filho HCM, Horohov DW, Rosen RT, Ho CT, Singh AP, Vorsa N.
Journal: 
Comp Exerc Physiol 6(4):157-169
Abstract: 

This study hypothesized that ginger (Zingiber officinale) and cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) extracts would alter the physiological response to exercise as well as markers of muscle damage, and mRNA expression for the inflammatory cytokines tumour necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), interferon-g (IFN-g) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) after an exhaustive bout of exercise in horses. Nine unfit Standardbred mares (age 10 ^ 4 years, ,450 kg) completed three graded exercise tests (GXTs) in a crossover design, where they were assigned to the initial order of treatment in a randomized fashion. The GXTs were conducted between 07.00 and 12.00 hours, 7 days apart. Mares received either water (2 l), cranberry (,30 g in 2 l of water) or ginger (,30 g in 2 l of water) extract 1 h prior to testing. Blood samples were taken prior to dosing (pre-exercise), at the end of each step of the GXT, at the end of the exercise and at 2, 5 and 30 min, 1, 2, 4 and 24 h post-GXT. Plasma total protein (TP) concentration and haematocrit (HCT) were analysed immediately following the tests. Analysis of creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was done commercially. There was no effect of treatment (P > 0.05) on VO2max, run-time to fatigue, core temperature, TP or HCT. CK was substantially elevated (P 0.05) was noted in AST. A slight increase (P 0.05) was seen on IL-6 mRNA expression. Results suggest that cranberry extract blunts the upregulation and expression of TNF-a mRNA, while ginger extract reduces cardiovascular recovery time in horses completing a short, exhaustive bout of exercise.

Antioxidant levels of common fruits, vegetables, and juices versus protective activity against in vitro ischemia/reperfusion.

Posted: 
November 19, 2010
Authors: 
Bean H, Schuler C, Leggett RE and Levin RM
Journal: 
Int Urol Nephrol 42(2):409-15
Abstract: 

It is well known that antioxidants present in various fruits, vegetables, and juices have the potential to protect the urinary bladder from free radical damage. What is not well understood, however, is how well antioxidant activities detected by chemical methods such as the CUPRAC assay for total antioxidant activity (TAA) predict the level of physiological protection available. It is hypothesized that the level of antioxidant reactivity found by the CUPRAC assay will positively correlate with increased protection in a model of in vitro ischemia/reperfusion. To test this hypothesis, the CUPRAC assay was utilized to determine the antioxidant reactivity of a series of fruits, vegetables, and juices, and the results were compared to the protective ability of selected juices in an established in vitro rabbit bladder model of ischemia/reperfusion. The results of the CUPRAC test showed that cranberry juice had the highest level of antioxidant reactivity, blueberry juice had an intermediate activity, and orange juice had the lowest. It was determined, however, that contrary to the hypothesis, the orange juice was significantly more potent in protecting the bladder against ischemia/reperfusion damage than either blueberry or cranberry juice. Thus, it is concluded that chemical tests for TAA do not necessarily correlate with their physiological activity.

Composition of a chemopreventive proanthocyanidin-rich fraction from cranberry fruits responsible for the inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity.

Posted: 
November 17, 2010
Authors: 
Kandil FE, Smith MA, Rogers RB, Pépin MF, Song LL, Pezzuto JM, Seigler DS
Journal: 
J Agric Food Chem 50(5):1063-9
Abstract: 

Phenolics from the American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) were fractionated into a series of proanthocyanidins and other flavonoid compounds by vacuum chromatography on a hydrophilic, porous polyvinylic gel permeation polymer. Antioxidant activity was not restricted to a particular class of components in the extract but was found in a wide range of the fractions. Significant chemopreventive activity, as indicated by an ornithine decarboxylase assay, was localized in one particular proanthocyanidin-rich fraction from the initial fractionation procedure. Further fractionation of the active anticarcinogenic fraction revealed the following components: seven flavonoids, mainly quercetin, myricetin, the corresponding 3-O-glycosides, (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin, and dimers of both gallocatechin and epigallocatechin types, and a series of oligomeric proanthocyanidins.

Effects of cranberry powder on serum lipid profiles and biomarkers of oxidative stress in rats fed an atherogenic diet

Posted: 
November 17, 2010
Authors: 
Kim MJ, Jung HN, Kim KN, Kwak HK
Journal: 
Nutr Res Pract 2(3):158-64
Abstract: 

This study investigated that the antioxidative effect of freeze-dried cranberry powder against protein and lipid oxidation and ameliorative effect of serum lipid profile in rat fed atherogenic diet. Six weeks old male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into the following four groups: normal diet group with 5% corn oil (control), atherogenic diet group with 5% corn oil, 10% lard, 1% cholesterol, and 0.5% sodium cholate (HFC), atherogenic plus 2% cranberry powder diet group (HFC + C2), and atherogenic plus 5% cranberry powder diet group (HFC + C5), and respective diet and water were fed daily for 6 weeks. After the experimental period, the serum lipid profile, such as total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride, ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), plasma phenolics content, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, serum protein carbonyl and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels were examined. Total phenolic compound and total flavonoid levels in freeze-dried cranberry powder were 9.94 mg/g and 8.12 mg/g, respectively. Serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels were not significantly different for cranberry powder treatment, but serum HDL-cholesterol level was significantly increased in HFC + C5 group compared with HFC group. Plasma FRAP value tended to be increased by cranberry powder treatment though there was no significant difference. Plasma total phenol concentrations and SOD activities were not significantly different among all groups. Serum protein carbonyl and TBARS levels were significantly decreased in HFC + C5 group compared with HFC group. Overall results suggested that freeze-dried cranberry powder might have the serum lipid improving effect, as well as antioxidative effect demonstrated by its protective effect against protein and lipid oxidation.

In vitro binding of bile acids by blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), plums (Prunus spp.), prunes (Prunus spp.), strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa), cherries (Malpighia punicifolia), cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and apples (Malus sylvestris)

Posted: 
November 17, 2010
Authors: 
Kahlon TS, Smith GE
Journal: 
Food Chem 100(3):1182-1187
Abstract: 

The in vitro binding of bile acids by blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), plums (Prunus spp.), prunes (Prunus spp.), strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa), cherries (Malpighia punicifolia) cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and apples (Malus sylvestris) was determined using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile at a duodenal physiological pH of 6.3. Six treatments and two blank incubations were conducted to testing various fresh raw fruits on an equal dry matter basis. Considering cholestyramine (bile acid binding, cholesterol lowering drug) as 100% bound, the relative in vitro bile acid binding on dry matter (DM), total dietary fibre (TDF) and total polysaccharides (PCH) basis was for blueberries 7%, 47% and 25%; plums 6%, 53% and 50%; prunes 5%, 50% and 14%; strawberries 5%, 23% and 15%; cherries 5%, 37% and 5%; cranberries 4%, 12% and 7%; and apple 1%, 7% and 5%, respectively. Bile acid binding on DM basis for blueberries was significantly (P plums=prunes=strawberries=cherries=cranberries > apples as indicated by their bile acid binding on DM basis. The variability in bile acid binding between the fruits tested maybe related to their phytonutrients (antioxidants, polyphenols, hydroxycinnamic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, flavonols, proanthocyanidins, catechins), structure, hydrophobicity of undigested fractions, anionic or cationic nature of the metabolites produced during digestion or their interaction with active binding sites. Inclusion of blueberries, plums, prunes, strawberries, cherries and cranberries in our daily diet as health promoting fruits should be encouraged. Animal studies are planned to validate in vitro bile acid binding of fruits observed herein to their potential of atherosclerosis amelioration (lipid and lipoprotein lowering) and cancer prevention (excretion of toxic metabolites).

Effects of blueberry and cranberry juice consumption on the plasma antioxidant capacity of healthy female volunteers

Posted: 
November 15, 2010
Authors: 
Pedersen CB, Kyle J, Jenkinson AM, Gardner PT, McPhail DB, Duthie GG
Journal: 
Eur J Clin Nutr 54(5):405-8
Abstract: 

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether consumption of 500 ml of blueberry juice or cranberry juice by healthy female subjects increased plasma phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. DESIGN: Latin square arrangement to eliminate ordering effects. After an overnight fast, nine volunteers consumed 500 ml of blueberry juice, cranberry juice or a sucrose solution (control); each volunteer participated on three occasions one week apart, consuming one of the beverages each time. Blood samples were obtained by venipuncture at intervals up to four hours after consumption of the juices. Urine samples were also obtained four hours after consuming the juice. RESULTS: Consumption of cranberry juice resulted in a significant increase in the ability of plasma to reduce potassium nitrosodisulphonate and Fe(III)-2,4, 6-Tri(2-pyridyl)-s-triazine, these measures of antioxidant capacity attaining a maximum after 60-120 min. This corresponded to a 30% increase in vitamin C and a small but significant increase in total phenols in plasma. Consumption of blueberry juice had no such effects. CONCLUSION: The increase in plasma antioxidant capacity following consumption of cranberry juice could mainly be accounted for by an increase in vitamin C rather than phenolics. This also accounted for the lack of an effect of the phenolic-rich but vitamin C-low blueberry juice.

Cranberry extract inhibits low density lipoprotein oxidation

Posted: 
November 13, 2010
Authors: 
Wilson T, Porcari JP, Harbin D
Journal: 
Life Sci 62(24):A381-6
Abstract: 

Cranberry juice consumption is often used for the treatment of urinary tract infections, but the effect of cranberry juice on heart disease has not been investigated. We evaluated how a cranberry extract containing 1,548 mg gallic acid equivalents/liter (initial pH=2.50) affected low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation induced by 10 micromolar cupric sulfate. When LDL oxidation took place in the presence of diluted cranberry extracts, the formation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and LDL electrophoretic mobility were reduced. LDL electrophoretic migration was also reduced when the cranberry extract had a pH of 7.00 prior to dilution. This study suggests that cranberry extracts have the ability to inhibit the oxidative modification of LDL particles.

Potential of cranberry-based herbal synergies for diabetes and hypertension management

Posted: 
November 13, 2010
Authors: 
Apostolidis E, Kwon YI, Shetty K
Journal: 
Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 15(3):433-41
Abstract: 

Water soluble cranberry-based phytochemical combinations with oregano, rosemary, and Rhodiola rosea were evaluated for total phenolic content, related antioxidant activity and inhibition of diabetes management-related alpha -glucosidase, pancreatic alpha-amylase inhibition, and hypertension-related ACE-I inhibitory activities. Water extracts of oregano had 114.9 mg/g DW of phenolics which was highest among all the extracts tested, whereas the 75% cranberry with 25% oregano combinations had the highest phenolics (38.9 mg/g DW) among all the combinations tested. The water extracts of oregano had the highest DPPH radical inhibition activity (73.6 %), whereas among combinations the 75% cranberry and 25% oregano had the highest DPPH radical inhibition activity (50.8 %). These results indicated a correlation between total phenolic content and antioxidant activity. The water extracts of pure Rhodiola rosea had the highest alpha -glucosidase inhibition, whereas the 75% cranberry and 25% Rhodiola rosea combination had the highest inhibition among the combinations. In the case of alpha -amylase inhibition the water extracts of Rhodiola rosea had the highest inhibition, whereas the 75% cranberry with 25% Rhodiola rosea combination had the highest inhibition among the combinations. All the water extracts tested indicated that they had anti-ACE-I inhibitory activity. More specifically, among the water extracts 100% cranberry had the highest ACE-I inhibitory activity and among the combination the 75% cranberry with 25% rosemary had the highest ACE-I inhibitory activity. The analysis of alpha -glucosidase,alpha -amylase, and ACE-I inhibitory activities suggested that inhibition depend on the phenolic profile of each unique extract and by bringing together synergistic combinations to cranberry, health beneficial functionality was enhanced. This enhanced functionality in terms of high alpha -glucosidase and alpha -amylase inhibitory activities indicate the potential for diabetes management, and high ACE-I inhibitory activity indicates the potential for hypertension management.

Fruit extracts antagonize A beta or DA-induced deficits in Ca2+ flux in M1-transfected COS-7 cells

Posted: 
November 10, 2010
Authors: 
Joseph JA, Fisher DR, Carey AN
Journal: 
JAD 6(4):403-411
Abstract: 

Evidence suggests that there is a selective sensitivity to oxidative stress (OSS) among muscarinic receptor (MAChR) subtypes with M1, M2 and M4 showing > OSS than M3 or M5 subtypes in transfected COS-7 cells. This may be important in determining the regional specificity in neuronal aging and Alzheimer disease (AD). We assessed the effectiveness of blueberry (BB) and other high antioxidant (HA) fruit extracts (boysenberry, BY; cranberry, CB; black currant, BC; strawberry, SB; dried plums, DP; and grape, GR) on the toxic effects of Abeta 25-35 (100 microM, 24 hrs) and DA (1 mM, 4 hrs) on calcium buffering (Recovery) following oxotremorine (750 microM) -induced depolarization in M1AChR-transfected COS-7 cells, and on cell viability following DA (4 hrs) exposure. The extracts showed differential levels of Recovery protection in comparisons to the non-supplemented controls that was dependent upon whether DA or Abeta was used as the pretreatment. Interestingly, assessments of DA-induced decrements in viability revealed that all of the extracts had some protective effects. These findings suggest that the putative toxic effects of Abeta or DA might be reduced by HA fruit extracts.

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