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Iberian cured-ham consumption improves endothelial function in healthy subjects

  • Published:
The journal of nutrition, health & aging

Abstract

Objectives

Previous studies have shown that dietary components such as oleic acid or polyphenols exert beneficial effects on endothelium. We aimed to assess the impact of regular consumption of Iberian cured-ham (ICH) on endothelial function.

Design

An open-label, randomized controlled parallel study.

Setting

Volunteers recruited through advertisements at a hospital in Madrid, Spain.

Participants

102 Caucasian adults (76.8% females) aged 25–55 years, and free from cardiometabolic disease.

Intervention

Participants were randomized to an ICH-enriched ad libitum diet or an ad libitum diet without ICH for 6 weeks. Subjects in ICH group were randomly provided with either acorn- or mixed-fed ICH, and followed up for an additional 6-week period under their usual diet.

Measurements

Clinical parameters, biomarkers of endothelial function and oxidative stress, microvascular vasodilatory response to hyperemia and arterial stiffness were measured before and after the intervention.

Results

After 6 weeks, a larger decrease in PAI-1 was observed in subjects consuming ICH compared to the Control group (-6.2±17.7 vs. 0.3±1.4 ng/ml; p=0.020). Similarly, microvascular vasodilatory response to hyperemia showed a significant increase (112.4±391.7 vs. -56.0±327.9%; p=0.007). However, neither oxidative stress, hemodynamic nor clinical parameters differed significantly over the study. Additionally, after stopping ICH consumption, improvements in PAI-1 remained for 6 additional weeks with respect to baseline (p=0.006).

Conclusion

The present study demonstrates, for the first time, that regular consumption of ICH improves endothelial function in healthy adults. Strategies aimed to preserve or improve the endothelial function may have implications in vascular aging beyond the prevention of the atherothrombotic disease.

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Correspondence to Jose Saban-Ruiz.

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Saban-Ruiz, J., Fabregate-Fuente, M., Fabregate-Fuente, R. et al. Iberian cured-ham consumption improves endothelial function in healthy subjects. J Nutr Health Aging 21, 1277–1283 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-016-0848-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-016-0848-1

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