Aronia Berry Supplementation for Improving Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction and Modulating the Gut Microbiota in Middle-Aged/Older Adults
Aging is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) largely due to vascular endothelial dysfunction, a major initial step in the development of atherosclerosis. Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by impaired endothelium-dependent dilation and is primarily caused by reduced nitric oxide bioavailability secondary to oxidative stress and inflammation. Interventions that improve endothelial dysfunction are important for improving endothelial function and reducing CVD risk in this high-risk population. Aronia melanocarpa, commonly known as aronia berries or chokeberries, are rich in polyphenols such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, and phenolic acids. These compounds, and derivatives resulting from gut microbial and phase II metabolism, have been shown to attenuate oxidative stress and inflammation, and to improve endothelial function. Aronia berries and other berries have been shown in numerous studies to have diverse cardiometabolic health effects including modulation of endothelial function, arterial stiffness, blood pressure, oxidative stress, and inflammation. In addition, berries, dietary fiber, polyphenols have been shown to exert positive effects on the gut microbiota, which may mediate improvements in cardiovascular health. Recently, we have demonstrated that modulation of the gut microbiota is associated with improvements in vascular dysfunction. The primary goal of the currently proposed research is to assess the efficacy and dose-dependent response of an aronia full spectrum dietary supplement to improve endothelial function in middle-aged/older men and postmenopausal women. A secondary goal is to determine whether aronia full spectrum modulation of the gut microbiota is associated with improvements in endothelial function. Other functional and biochemical measures of cardiovascular health, oxidative stress, inflammation, and polyphenol metabolism will be assessed.
Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo Controlled, Parallel Study to Evaluate the Effect of Concord Grape Extract on Vascular Function in Healthy Men and Women
Concord grape (Vitis Labrusca) is rich in polyphenols such as anthocyanins, flavanols, procyanidins and flavonols. Current reports investigating the effects of Concord grape (CG) consumption on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk have provided mixed results. Studies were limited by small sample size or lacked a control arm. Moreover, subjects presented with CVD or CVD risk factors and thus to our knowledge, it remains unknown as to whether the consumption of Concord Grape (poly)phenols can maintain vascular function in healthy individuals. The aim of this study is therefore to examine both acute and chronic effects of Concord Grape on cardiovascular health by investigating whether daily consumption of Concord Grape Extract (CGE) for 12 weeks can affect biomarkers of CVD risk, including endothelial function, blood pressure and blood lipids, in young healthy men and women.
Evaluation of the Effect of Chokeberry (Aronia Melanocarpa) Polyphenols on Blood Pressure in Prehypertensive Healthy Men and Women
Aronia berries are a native North American berry with high naturally occurring anthocyanins among other polyphenols. Based on their polyphenol composition, there is growing interest in the potential for Aronia berries to elicit health promoting cardio-metabolic effects. Specifically, Aronia berry extracts, which provide a concentrated source of polyphenols, may improve blood vessel function. Thus, the primary focus of this project is to evaluate the effects of Aronia berry polyphenols on blood pressure and other biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risk such as endothelial function, arterial stiffness and blood lipids.