Hesperidin in Orange Juice Improves Hypertension and Arterial Function

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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


HESPERIDIN IN ORANGE JUICE IMPROVES

HYPERTENSION AND ARTERIAL FUNCTION

 

Polyphenols are chemical compounds that are found in most of the plant-based foods that we commonly eat.  As I discuss in detail in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, some polyphenolic compounds, such as green tea flavonoids, soy-based isoflavones, quercetin, curcumin, and resveratrol, among other polyphenols, may possess important cancer prevention properties.  There is also abundant research data suggesting that diets rich in certain natural dietary polyphenols may be associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well.

Hesperidin, which is a flavonoid polyphenol, is found in a variety of plant-based foods, including oranges, orange juice, and other citrus fruits.  A newly published prospective, randomized, blinded clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, offers intriguing evidence that hesperidin may actually decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease in high-risk patients.

In this pilot study, 24 overweight (but otherwise healthy) men, ages 50 to 65 years, were subjected to 4-week intervals in each of three experimental groups.  The first group was assigned to drink 500 ml (17 ounces) of orange juice per day.  The second experimental group drank a “control drink” that appeared similar to orange juice, but which did not contain any actual orange juice.  However, this “sham orange juice” was fortified with hesperidin.  The third group was also assigned to drink the fake orange juice, and to which was added a supplement portrayed (to the study volunteers, and to the research nurses who administered the beverages to these research volunteers) as hesperidin, but which, in fact, was an inert placebo that contained no hesperidin or other polyphenols.

Physical examinations and blood tests were performed before and after the men rotated through each of these three experimental groups.

The findings of this small but high quality clinical research study were quite interesting.  When compared to the control group that consumed the fake orange juice and fake hesperidin supplement, the men in the other two experimental groups experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure measurements.  Specifically, the diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced, which suggests that these men experienced an improvement in the elasticity, or compliance, of their arteries, as a direct result of the hesperidin contained in both orange juice and in the non-juice beverage supplemented with hesperidin.  This observation was again confirmed through additional testing that revealed improved vascular compliance associated with hesperidin intake.  Moreover, this significant improvement in arterial compliance was observed only after the ingestion of hesperidin, and disappeared when these same men were retested after undergoing an overnight fast.  (Improved arterial compliance is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and stroke.)

To summarize the findings of this study, hesperidin, when taken in the form of either orange juice or as a supplement, appeared to significantly improve arterial elasticity, and lower diastolic blood pressure, in middle-aged overweight men.  While this brief study cannot prove that these observed and transient improvements in arterial compliance subsequently reduced the incidence of cardiovascular disease in these high-risk men, there is abundant data from other research studies linking improved arterial compliance with a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease.  A much larger version of this small pilot study should now be repeated, and the volunteers in this larger study need to be followed for a much longer duration of time, before we can say, with certainty, that hesperidin significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.  That being said, the findings of this small but well-conducted, and elegant, randomized, controlled, prospective clinical research study are still quite compelling.

   

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO OUR MANY HEALTH-CONSCIOUS

WEEKLY HEALTH UPDATE” READERS AROUND THE WORLD!

 

PEACE, LOVE, AND GOOD HEALTH TO ALL OF YOU!

 

For a complete discussion of the role of dietary flavonoids and polyphenols in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

GIVE  THE  GIFT  OF  HEALTH  THIS  HOLIDAY  SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



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Green Tea Epicatechin Reduces Heart Damage & CHF

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


GREEN TEA EPICATECHIN REDUCE HEART DAMAGE & CHF

Epicatechin is a member of a group of dietary antioxidants known as flavonoids.  Epicatechin is found in a variety of plant-based foods, but is particularly abundant in green tea and dark chocolate. 

Regular readers of this column are already familiar with previous research studies suggesting that green tea flavonoids, including epicatechin, have been linked to a potential decrease in the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as decreased blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure (hypertension).  Now, an innovative new laboratory research study has suggested that daily epicatechin supplements may dramatically reduce heart damage, and the risk of congestive heart failure (CHF), following heart attacks (myocardial infarction).

In this study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, laboratory rats underwent surgical blockage of their main coronary artery, which reproduces the acute blockage of human coronary arteries that cause heart attacks (myocardial infarctions).  In one group of rats, daily oral supplements of epicatechin (1 mg/kg per day) were started prior to tying off the rats’ coronary arteries, and were continued after coronary artery ligation.  In a second group of “control” rats, daily water supplements (without epicatechin) were started 10 days prior to coronary artery ligation.  Yet another “control group” of rats underwent “sham surgery,” wherein the chest wall was surgically opened (as with the other two groups of rats), but the coronary arteries were not tied off.  In this group of rats, daily epicatechin supplements were also started 10 days before their sham operations were performed.

When the hearts of these laboratory animals were evaluated 48 hours after their surgically induced heart attacks, the animals that had received daily epicatechin supplements (before and after coronary artery ligation) were found to have 52 percent less permanently damaged heart muscle (myocardial infarction) when compared to the animals that received only daily “placebo” water supplements.  Moreover, these “control” animals, that underwent coronary artery ligation but did not receive epicatechin supplements, were observed to develop signs of CHF, as was expected, following the surgical induction of a massive heart attack.  Amazingly, the animals that were pretreated with epicatechin prior to surgical ligation of the main coronary artery did not display evidence of CHF (these animals’ heart function did not significantly differ from that of the “sham surgery” rats that did not have their coronary arteries tied off)!

At 3 weeks after coronary artery ligation, the rats that had received epicatechin supplements, in addition to coronary artery ligation, had, on average, a 33 percent decrease in the extent of dead heart muscle (myocardial infarction) when compared to the “placebo control” animals that received only water supplements (but no epicatechin) before and after coronary artery ligation.  Once again, there was a significant incidence of CHF in the rats that received only water supplements, in addition to coronary artery ligation, 3 weeks after surgical induction of myocardial infarction, while the animals that received epicatechin supplements in addition to coronary artery ligation retained normal heart function (similar to what was observed in the “sham surgery” rats that did not have their coronary arteries ligated).

 

This is quite an amazing research study, as the protective effects of daily epicatechin supplementation following ligation of the main coronary artery in rats was profoundly significant, and essentially prevented the onset of CHF in these laboratory animals.  If epicatechin was to be shown to have similar “cardio-protective” effects in humans, then this would enormously increase the potential role of epicatechin, and other related green tea and dark chocolate flavonoids, in the prevention and treatment of coronary artery disease!Fortunately, there are several clinical research studies that are evaluating the potential cardio-protective effects of epicatechins, and other green tea and dark chocolate flavonoids, in patients with elevated cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions that are associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack.  (At least one other study is also evaluating these same dietary flavonoids in patients who already have CHF.)

Meanwhile, green tea is well tolerated by most people, and if there are no preexisting medical illnesses that prevent you from drinking green tea, then a few cups or glasses of green tea a day may help to decrease your risk of heart attack and CHF.  (As always, however, I must remind readers that laboratory experiments with rats and mice often do not translate to human beings once the same treatments are evaluated in high-quality prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research trials with human volunteers.)

 

To learn more about the role of green tea, dark chocolate, epicatechin, and other dietary flavonoids in the prevention of cancer, look for the publication of my new landmark book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the summer of this year.



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 1000,000 new and returning readers who visit our premier global health information website every month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



 

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