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Guidelines for Endothelial Testing

What is the most widely consumed pharmacological substance in the world?

Acute effects of coffee on skin blood flow and microvascular function
Erik Tesselaar 1, Dzeneta Nezirevic  2, Simon Farnebo 3
Objective: Studies on the acute effects of coffee on the microcirculation have shown contradicting results. This study aimed to investigate if intake of caffeine-containing coffee changes blood flow and microvascular reactivity in the skin.
Methods: We measured acute changes in cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) in the forearm and the tip of the finger, the microvascular response to transdermal iontophoresis of acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) in the skin, after intake of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.
Results: Vasodilatation during iontophoresis of ACh was significantly stronger after intake of caffeinated coffee compared to after intake of decaffeinated coffee (1.26±0.20PU/mmHg vs. 1.13±0.38PU/mmHg, P<0.001). Forearm CVC before and after PORH were not affected by caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. After intake of caffeinated coffee, a more pronounced decrease in CVC in the fingertip was observed compared to after intake of decaffeinated coffee (-1.36PU/mmHg vs. -0.52PU/mmHg, P=0.002).
Conclusions: Caffeine, as ingested by drinking caffeinated coffee acutely improves endothelium-dependent microvascular responses in the forearm skin, while endothelium-independent responses to PORH and SNP iontophoresis are not affected. Blood flow in the fingertip decreases markedly during the first hour after drinking caffeinated coffee compared to decaffeinated coffee.
• After drinking a single cup of coffee, endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in the skin is acutely enhanced.
• After drinking a single cup of coffee, blood flow in the fingertip is substantially reduced.
• Intake of caffeine through drinking caffeinated coffee acutely augments microvascular reactivity.
The acute effect of coffee on endothelial function and glucose metabolism following a glucose load in healthy human volunteers
Evan A J Boon 1, Kevin D Croft, Sujata Shinde, Jonathan M Hodgson, Natalie C Ward
A diet rich in plant polyphenols has been suggested to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus, in part, via improvements in endothelial function. Coffee is a rich source of phenolic compounds including the phenolic acid, chlorogenic acid (CGA). The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of coffee as a whole beverage on endothelial function, blood pressure and blood glucose concentration. Twelve healthy men and women were recruited to a randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, with three treatments tested: (i) 18 g of ground caffeinated coffee containing 300 mg CGA in 200 mL of hot water, (ii) 18 g of decaffeinated coffee containing 287 mg CGA in 200 mL of hot water, and (iii) 200 mL of hot water (control). Treatment beverages were consumed twice, two hours apart, with the second beverage consumed simultaneously with a 75 g glucose load. Blood pressure was recorded and the finger prick glucose test was performed at time = 0 and then every 30 minutes up to 2 hours. Endothelial function, assessed using flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery, was measured at 1 hour and a blood sample taken at 2 hours to measure plasma nitrate/nitrite and 5-CGA concentrations. The FMD response was significantly higher in the caffeinated coffee group compared to both decaffeinated coffee and water groups (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the FMD response between decaffeinated coffee and water. Blood glucose concentrations and blood pressure were not different between the three treatment groups.
In conclusion, the consumption of caffeinated coffee resulted in a significant improvement in endothelial function, but there was no evidence for benefit regarding glucose metabolism or blood pressure. Although the mechanism has yet to be elucidated the results suggest that coffee as a whole beverage may improve endothelial function, or that caffeine is the component of coffee responsible for improving FMD.
Effect of caffeine contained in a cup of coffee on microvascular function in healthy subjects
Recent epidemiological studies have demonstrated that coffee drinking is associated with reduced mortality of cardiovascular disease. However, its precise mechanisms remain to be clarified. In this study, we examined whether single ingestion of caffeine contained in a cup of coffee improves microvascular function in healthy subjects. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was performed in 27 healthy volunteers. A cup of either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee was drunk by the subjects, and reactive hyperemia of finger blood flow was assessed by laser Doppler flowmetry. In an interval of more than 2 days, the same experimental protocol was repeated with another coffee in a crossover manner. Caffeinated coffee intake slightly but significantly elevated blood pressure and decreased finger blood flow as compared with decaffeinated coffee intake. There was no significant difference in heart rate between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee intake. Importantly, caffeinated coffee intake significantly enhanced post-occlusive reactive hyperemia of finger blood flow, an index of microvascular endothelial function, compared with decaffeinated coffee intake. These results provide the first evidence that caffeine contained in a cup of coffee enhances microvascular function in healthy individuals.
Keywords: Caffeine; Coffee; Endothelial function; Laser-Doppler flowmetry; Microcirculation.
Coffee and Endothelial Function: A Coffee Paradox?
Coffee is a popular beverage throughout the world. Coffee contains various chemical compounds (e.g., caffeine, chlorogenic acids, hydroxyhydroquinone, kahweol, cafestol, and complex chemical mixtures). Caffeine is also the most widely consumed pharmacological substance in the world and is included in various beverages (e.g., coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks), products containing chocolate, and drugs. The effects of coffee and caffeine on cardiovascular diseases remain controversial. It is well known that there are J-curve-type or U-curve-type associations of coffee consumption with cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction and stroke. However, there is little information on the direct and indirect effects of coffee consumption on endothelial function in humans. It is likely that the coffee paradox or caffeine paradox exists the association of coffee intake with cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular outcomes, and endothelial function. This review focusses on the effects of coffee and caffeine on endothelial function from molecular mechanisms to clinical perspectives.
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