Polyphenolic compounds from red grapes acutely improve endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease
BACKGROUND: It has been shown that acute intake of red wine improves endothelial-dependent vasodilatation. It is not clear, however, which constituents of red wine are responsible for this effect. We examined whether acute intake of a red grape polyphenol extract has a positive effect on brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation.
METHODS: We recruited 30 male patients with coronary heart disease. They were randomly assigned either to a red grape polyphenol extract (600 mg) dissolved in 20 ml of water (n = 15) or 20 ml of water (placebo) (n = 15). The extract of grapes contained 4.32 mg epicatechin, 2.72 mg catechin, 2.07 mg gallic acid, 0.9 mg trans-resveratrol, 0.47 mg rutin, 0.42 mg epsilon-viniferin, 0.28 mg, p-coumaric acid, 0.14 mg ferulic acid and 0.04 mg quercetin per gram. Flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery was evaluated after reactive hyperemia induced by cuff obstruction of the forearm, using high-resolution ultasonography. Particularly, flow-mediated dilatation was measured after fasting and 30, 60 and 120 min after the intake of the grape extract or placebo.
RESULTS: Intake of the red grape polyphenol extract caused an increase in flow-mediated dilatation, peaking at 60 min, which was significantly higher than the baseline values (4.52+/-1.34 versus 2.6+/-1.5%; P < 0.001) and the corresponding values at 60 min after the intake of placebo (4.52+/-1.34 versus 2.64+/-1.8%, P < 0.001). There was no change in FMD values after the intake of placebo throughout the whole duration of the study.
CONCLUSION: Polyphenolic compounds from red grapes acutely improve endothelial function in patients with coronary heart disease. These results could probably, at least partly, explain the favorable effects of red wine on the cardiovascular system.