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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 796958, 6 pages
Original Article

Potential Benefits on Impairment of Endothelial Function after a High-Fat Meal of 4 Weeks of Flavonoid Supplementation

Center for Cardiovascular Health (TAB, LH) and Dickson Institute for Health Studies (HCS), Carolinas Healthcare System, P.O. Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28232, USA

Received 20 September 2007; Accepted 30 May 2008

Copyright © 2011 T. A. Barringer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Studies with foods high in flavonoids have demonstrated improvement in endothelial function. We investigated whether 4 weeks of flavonoid supplementation would prevent an adverse impact on endothelial function of a high-fat meal. Endothelial function was measured by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT). The RH-PAT index was measured both before and 3 h after a high-fat meal, in 23 healthy volunteers. Subjects were randomized in a double-blind, cross-over design to 4 weeks of daily supplementation with OPC-3, or a matching placebo. RH-PAT index before and after the high-fat meal was measured at the beginning and end of each 4-week treatment phase. The high-fat meal caused a decline in endothelial function at baseline in the placebo (-10.71%, P = .006) and flavonoid [-9.97% (P = .077)] groups, and there was no difference in decline between arms (P = .906). The high-fat meal produced a decline after 4 weeks of placebo [-12.37% (P = .005)], but no decline after 4 weeks of flavonoid supplement [-3.16% (P = .663)], and the difference between the two responses was highly significant (P < .0001). Within-group comparisons revealed no difference in endothelial function decline in the placebo arm between baseline and 4 weeks [-10.71% versus -12.37% (P = .758)]. In the flavonoid supplement arm, the difference in endothelial function decline between baseline and 4 weeks was -9.97% versus -3.16%, but did not reach statistical significance (P = .451). These results suggest that the flavonoid supplement used in this study mitigates the impairment of endothelial function caused by a high-fat meal. Whether certain subpopulations derive greater or lesser benefit remains unclear.