Original Contribution

European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 949-961

Effect of a wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) drink intervention on markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial function in humans with cardiovascular risk factors

  • Patrizia RisoAffiliated withDeFENS, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano Email author 
  • , Dorothy Klimis-ZacasAffiliated withDepartment of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Maine
  • , Cristian Del Bo’Affiliated withDeFENS, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano
  • , Daniela MartiniAffiliated withDeFENS, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano
  • , Jonica CampoloAffiliated withDipartimento Cardiovascolare, Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica CNR, Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda
  • , Stefano VendrameAffiliated withDepartment of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Maine
  • , Peter MøllerAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, Section of Environmental Health, University of Copenhagen
  • , Steffen LoftAffiliated withDepartment of Public Health, Section of Environmental Health, University of Copenhagen
  • , Renata De MariaAffiliated withDipartimento Cardiovascolare, Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica CNR, Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda
    • , Marisa PorriniAffiliated withDeFENS, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano

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Abstract

Purpose

Wild blueberries (WB) (Vaccinium angustifolium) are rich sources of polyphenols, such as flavonols, phenolic acids and anthocyanins (ACNs), reported to decrease the risk of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. This study investigated the effect of regular consumption of a WB or a placebo (PL) drink on markers of oxidative stress, inflammation and endothelial function in subjects with risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Methods

Eighteen male volunteers (ages 47.8 ± 9.7 years; body mass index 24.8 ± 2.6 kg/m2) received according to a cross-over design, a WB (25 g freeze-dried powder, providing 375 mg of ACNs) or a PL drink for 6 weeks, spaced by a 6-week wash-out. Endogenous and oxidatively induced DNA damage in blood mononuclear cells, serum interleukin levels, reactive hyperemia index, nitric oxide, soluble vascular adhesion molecule concentration and other variables were analyzed.

Results

Wild blueberry drink intake significantly reduced the levels of endogenously oxidized DNA bases (from 12.5 ± 5.6 % to 9.6 ± 3.5 %, p ≤ 0.01) and the levels of H2O2-induced DNA damage (from 45.8 ± 7.9 % to 37.2 ± 9.1 %, p ≤ 0.01), while no effect was found after the PL drink. No significant differences were detected for markers of endothelial function and the other variables under study.

Conclusions

In conclusion, the consumption of the WB drink for 6 weeks significantly reduced the levels of oxidized DNA bases and increased the resistance to oxidatively induced DNA damage. Future studies should address in greater detail the role of WB in endothelial function. This study was registered at www.​isrctn.​org as ISRCTN47732406.

Keywords

Wild blueberry Endothelial function DNA damage Blood lipids Cardiovascular risk