1) Cocoa, Blood Pressure, and Vascular Function 2) Endothelium and oxidative stress: The Pandora’s Box of cerebral (and non-only) small vessel disease?

Front Nutr. 2017 Aug 2;4:36. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2017.00036. eCollection 2017.

Cocoa, Blood Pressure, and Vascular Function.

Ludovici V1,2, Barthelmes J1, Nägele MP1, Enseleit F1, Ferri C2, Flammer AJ1, Ruschitzka F1, Sudano I1.

Author information

1
Cardiology, University Heart Center, University Hospital and University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy.

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) represents the most common cause of death worldwide. The consumption of natural polyphenol-rich foods, and cocoa in particular, has been related to a reduced risk of CVD, including coronary heart disease and stroke. Intervention studies strongly suggest that cocoa exerts a beneficial impact on cardiovascular health, through the reduction of blood pressure (BP), improvement of vascular function, modulation of lipid and glucose metabolism, and reduction of platelet aggregation. These potentially beneficial effects have been shown in healthy subjects as well as in patients with risk factors (arterial hypertension, diabetes, and smoking) or established CVD (coronary heart disease or heart failure). Several potential mechanisms are supposed to be responsible for the positive effect of cocoa; among them activation of nitric oxide (NO) synthase, increased bioavailability of NO as well as antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is the aim of this review to summarize the findings of cocoa and chocolate on BP and vascular function.

KEYWORDS:

arterial stiffness; blood pressure; cocoa; endothelial function; flavonoids

Curr Mol Med. 2017 Aug 21. doi: 10.2174/1566524017666170822114739. [Epub ahead of print]

Endothelium and oxidative stress: The Pandora’s Box of cerebral (and non-only) small vessel disease?

Maccarrone M1, Ulivi L1, Giannini N1, Montano V1, Ghiadoni L2, Bruno RM3, Bonuccelli U1, Mancuso M3.

Author information

1
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Neurological Institute, University of Pisa. Italy.
2
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Neurological Institute, Emergency Medicine, University of Pisa. Italy.
3
Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, Neurological Institute, Internal Medicine, University of Pisa. Italy.

Abstract

Common cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD) abnormalities are a common neuroradiological finding, especially in the elderly. They are associated with a wide clinical spectrum that leads to an increasing disability, impaired global function outcome and a reduced quality of life. A strong association is demonstrated with age and hypertension and other common vascular risk factors, including diabetes mellitus, dyslipoproteinemia, smoking, low vitamin B12 level, and hyperomocysteinemia. Although these epidemiological associations suggest a systemic involvement, etiopathogenetic mechanisms remain unclear. This review focuses on the potential role of endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress in the pathogenic cascade leading to cSVD. We stressed on the central role of those pathways, and suggest the importance of quantifying the cerebral (and non-only) “endoteliopathic and oxidative load” and its clinical presentation that could lead to a better determination of vascular risk degree. In addition, understanding underlying pathogenic mechanisms could allow us to slow down the progression of vascular damage and, therefore, prevent the disability due to reiterated microvascular damage.

Ethn Dis. 2017 Jul 20;27(3):233-240. doi: 10.18865/ed.27.3.233. eCollection 2017 Summer.

Differential Response to Exercise in African Americans with High Levels of Inflammation.

Kretzschmar J1, Babbitt DM1, Diaz KM1, Feairheller DL1, Sturgeon KM1, Perkins-Ball AM1, Williamson ST1, Ling C1, Grimm H1, Brown MD1.

Author information

1
Department of Kinesiology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Systemic inflammation, measured by C-reactive protein (CRP), is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. We investigated whether aerobic exercise training (AEXT) affects African Americans with high inflammation (HI) the same way it does African Americans with low inflammation (LI) in terms of CVD risk factors.

METHODS:

23 African Americans with CRP levels <3 mg/L (LI) and 14 African Americans with CRP ≥3 mg/L (HI) underwent six months of AEXT. Participants were sedentary, non-diabetic, non-smoking, with clinical blood pressure <160/100 mm Hg, were non-hyperlipidemic, had no signs of cardiovascular, renal, or pulmonary disease, and were not on medication. Measures included CD62E+ endothelial microparticles (EMPs), a measure of early stage endothelial dysfunction, as well as lipid and glucose profile, aerobic fitness, body composition, and blood pressure.

RESULTS:

The LI group improved aerobic fitness by 10%, body mass index by 3%, and plasma triglycerides by 20%, with no change being observed in HI group for these variables. The HI group improved fasting plasma glucose levels by 10%, with no change occurring in the LI group. Both groups improved CD62E+ EMPs by 38% and 59% for the LI and HI group, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

A standard AEXT intervention differentially affected CVD risk factors among African Americans with high and low inflammation. This may indicate that, in African Americans with high inflammation, AEXT alone may not be enough to reap the same benefits as their low-inflammation peers in terms of CVD risk modification.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular Disease; Exercise; Inflammation


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