[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dietary interventions with flavan-3-ols have shown beneficial effects on vascular function. The translation of these findings into the context of the health of the general public requires detailed information on habitual dietary intake. However, only limited data are currently available for European populations. Therefore, in the present study, we assessed the habitual intake of flavan-3-ol monomers, proanthocyanidins (PA) and theaflavins in the European Union (EU) and determined their main food sources using the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database. Data for adults aged 18-64 years were available from fourteen European countries, and intake was determined using the FLAVIOLA Flavanol Food Composition Database, developed for the present study and based on the latest US Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases. The mean habitual intake of flavan-3-ol monomers, theaflavins and PA ranged from 181 mg/d (Czech Republic) to 793 mg/d (Ireland). The highest intakes of flavan-3-ol monomers and theaflavins were observed in Ireland (191/505 mg/d) and the lowest intakes in Spain (24/9 mg/d). In contrast, the daily intake of PA was highest in Spain (175 mg/d) and lowest in The Netherlands (96 mg/d). Main sources were tea (62 %), pome fruits (11 %), berries (3 %) and cocoa products (3 %). Tea was the major single contributor to monomer intake (75 %), followed by pome fruits (6 %). Pome fruits were also the main source of PA (28 %). The present study provides important data on the population-based intake of flavanols in the EU and demonstrates that dietary intake amounts for flavan-3-ol monomers, PA and theaflavins vary significantly across European countries. The average habitual intake of flavan-3-ols is considerably below the amounts used in most dietary intervention studies.
The British journal of nutrition 12/2013; · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current evidence suggests that regenerative v. degenerative endothelial responses can be integrated in a clinical endothelial phenotype, reflecting the net result between damage from risk factors and endogenous repair capacity. We have previously shown that a cocoa flavanol (CF) intervention can improve endothelial function and increase the regenerative capacity of the endothelium by mobilising circulating angiogenic cells in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether CF can lower the levels of circulating endothelial microparticles (EMP), markers of endothelial integrity, along with improvements in endothelial function. The levels of EMP in the frozen plasma samples of CAD patients were measured along with endothelial function (flow-mediated vasodilation, FMD); n 16, FMD data published previously), and these data were compared with those of young (n 12) and age-matched (n 12) healthy control subjects. The CAD patients exhibited significantly increased levels of EMP along with impaired FMD when compared with the healthy control subjects. The levels of CD144+ and CD31+/41- EMP were inversely correlated with FMD (r - 0·67, P= 0·01 and r - 0·59, P= 0·01, respectively). In these CAD patients, the levels of EMP were measured after they had consumed a drink containing 375 mg of CF (high-CF intervention, HiFI) or 9 mg of CF (macro- and micronutrient-matched low-CF control, LoFl) twice daily over a 30-d period in a randomised, double-blind, cross-over study. After 1 month of HiFI, the levels of CD31+/41- and CD144+ EMP decreased ( - 25 and - 23 %, respectively), but not after LoFl. Our data show that flavanols lower the levels of EMP along with higher endothelial function, lending evidence to the novel concept that flavanols may improve endothelial integrity.
The British journal of nutrition 11/2013; · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Ugi reaction has been successfully applied to the synthesis of novel arginase inhibitors. In an effort to decrease conformational flexibility of the previously reported series of 2-amino-6-boronohexanoic acid (ABH) analogs 1, we designed and synthesized a series of compounds, 2, in which a piperidine ring is linked directly to a quaternary amino acid center. Further improvement of in vitro activity was achieved by adding two carbon bridge in the piperidine ring, that is, tropane analogs 11. These improvements in activity are rationalized by X-ray crystallography analysis, which show that the tropane ring nitrogen atom moves into direct contact with Asp202 (arginase II numbering). The synthetic routes described here enabled the design of novel arginase inhibitors with improved potency and markedly different physico-chemical properties compared to ABH. Compound 11c represents the most in vitro active arginase inhibitor reported to date.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ten orthogonally protected (−)-epicatechin and 3′- or 4′-O-methyl-(−)-epicatechin derivatives were prepared in a regiospecific and enantioselective manner. For each orthogonally protected (−)-epicatechin derivative, one specific phenolic hydroxyl was protected with a methoxymethyl (MOM) or p-methoxybenyzl (PMB) group and the remainder were protected as benzyl ethers. These uniquely protected (−)-epicatechin derivatives were designed to facilitate the regiospecific installation of a glucuronic acid or sulfate unit onto (−)-epicatechin after selective removal of the MOM or PMB protecting group to provide authentic standards of (−)-epicatechin glucuronides and sulfates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent efforts to identify treatments for myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury have resulted in the discovery of a novel series of highly potent α,α-disubstituted amino acid-based arginase inhibitors. The lead candidate, (R)-2-amino-6-borono-2-(2-(piperidin-1-yl)ethyl)hexanoic acid, compound 9, inhibits human arginases I and II with IC50s of 223 and 509 nM, respectively, and is active in a recombinant cellular assay overexpressing human arginase I (CHO cells). It is 28% orally bioavailable and significantly reduces the infarct size in a rat model of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and structure-activity relationships (SAR) for this novel series of inhibitors along with pharmacokinetic and in vivo efficacy data for compound 9 and X-ray crystallography data for selected lead compounds cocrystallized with arginases I and II.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2013; · 5.48 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substitution at the alpha center of the known human arginase inhibitor 2-amino-6-boronohexanoic acid (ABH) is acceptable in the active site pockets of both human arginase I and arginase II. In particular, substituents with a tertiary amine linked via a two carbon chain show improved inhibitory potency for both enzyme isoforms. This potency improvement can be rationalized by X-ray crystallography, which shows a water-mediated contact between the basic nitrogen and the carboxylic acid side chain of Asp200, which is situated at the mouth of the active site pocket of arginase II (Asp181 in arginase I). We believe that this is the first literature report of compounds with improved arginase inhibitory activity, relative to ABH, and represents a promising starting point for further optimization of in vitro potency and the identification of better tool molecules for in vivo investigations of the potential pathophysiological roles of arginases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The monoglucuronides and sulfates of epicatechin, 3'-O-methylepicatechin, and 4'-O-methylepicatechin, respectively, were synthesized as authentic bioanalytical standards. Reversed-phase HPLC methods capable of baseline separation of the glucuronides and sulfates have been developed. Both the epicatechin glucuronides and sulfates were stable in the solid state when stored under ambient conditions and in aqueous solution when stored refrigerated. These results should prove invaluable to the research community as analytical standards as well as in future studies of the biological and pharmacological effects of epicatechin in humans.
Journal of Natural Products 01/2013; · 3.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A versatile new approach is reported for the total synthesis of five glucuronide metabolites of epicatechin, using selective protection/deprotection techniques.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating data show a causal role for flavanols in the mediation of cardiovascular benefits associated with the consumption of flavanol- and procyanidin-containing foods. Evidence for a direct causal role for procyanidins in this context is far less profound due to the poor absorption of procyanidins. However, it has been proposed that procyanidins may break down in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in monomeric flavanols, which contribute to the systemic flavanol pool. Verification or rejection of this supposition could significantly affect the interpretation of epidemiologic and dietary intervention data and the design of food-content databases.
We assessed the respective contribution of flavanols and procyanidins to the systemic pool of flavanols and 5-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-γ-valerolactone (γ-VL) in humans.
Test drinks that contained only flavanols (D1), procyanidins with a degree of polymerization that ranged from 2 to 10 (D2-10), or flavanols and procyanidins with a degree of polymerization that ranged from 2 to 10 (D1-10) were consumed by subjects (n = 12) according to a randomized, double-masked, crossover design. Plasma and urine samples were collected postprandially and analyzed.
The ingestion of D1-10 resulted in the systemic presence of flavanols (plasma concentration: 863 ± 77 nmol/L), γ-VLs (24-h urine: 93 ± 18 μmol), and minute concentrations of procyanidin B2. With correction for small residual amounts of flavanols present in D2-10, only negligible concentrations of circulating flavanols were detected after ingestion of the drink, whereas the intake of D1 resulted in circulating flavanol concentrations similar to those detected after D1-10 consumption.
These outcomes show that dietary procyanidins do not contribute to the systemic pool of flavanols in humans. Thus, these data reject the notion that procyanidins, through their breakdown into flavanols and subsequent absorption, causally modulate vascular function.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 02/2012; 95(4):851-8. · 6.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating data suggest that diets rich in flavanols and procyanidins are beneficial for human health. In this context, there has been a great interest in elucidating the systemic levels and metabolic profiles at which these compounds occur in humans. Although recent progress has been made, there still exist considerable differences and various disagreements with regard to the mammalian metabolites of these compounds, which in turn are largely a consequence of the lack of availability of authentic standards that would allow for the directed development and validation of expedient analytical methodologies. In this study, we developed a method for the analysis of structurally related flavanol metabolites using a wide range of authentic standards. Applying this method in the context of a human dietary intervention study using comprehensively characterized and standardized flavanol- and procyanidin-containing cocoa, we were able to identify the structurally related (-)-epicatechin metabolites (SREM) postprandially extant in the systemic circulation of humans. Our results demonstrate that (-)-epicatechin-3'-β-D-glucuronide, (-)-epicatechin-3'-sulfate, and a 3'-O-methyl-(-)-epicatechin-5/7-sulfate are the predominant SREM in humans and further confirm the relevance of the stereochemical configuration in the context of flavanol metabolism. In addition, we also identified plausible causes for the previously reported discrepancies regarding flavanol metabolism, consisting, to a significant extent, of interlaboratory differences in sample preparation (enzymatic treatment and sample conditioning for HPLC analysis) and detection systems. Thus, these findings may also aid in the establishment of consensus on this topic.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 12/2011; 52(8):1403-12. · 5.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data on the potential health benefits of dietary flavanols and procyanidins, especially in the context of cardiovascular health, are considerable and continue to accumulate. Significant progress has been made in flavanol analytics and the creation of phytonutrient-content food databases, and novel data emanated from epidemiological investigations as well as dietary intervention studies. However, a comprehensive understanding of the pharmacological properties of flavanols and procyanidins, including their precise mechanisms of action in vivo, and a conclusive, consensus-based accreditation of a causal relationship between intake and health benefits in the context of primary and secondary cardiovascular disease prevention is still outstanding. Thus, the objective of this review is to identify and discuss key questions and gaps that will need to be addressed in order to conclusively demonstrate whether or not dietary flavanols and procyanidins have a role in preventing, delaying the onset of, or treating cardiovascular diseases, and thus improving human life expectancy and quality of life.
Molecular Aspects of Medicine 12/2010; 31(6):546-57. · 10.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extensive epidemiological and clinical evidence associates diets high in flavanol-containing foods with cardiovascular health benefits in humans. Catechin and epicatechin, the most common flavanols in foods, are present in the diet in different enantiomeric forms. This study investigated the influence of the stereochemical configuration of flavanols on their absorption, metabolism, and biological activity. Healthy adult males were asked to consume equal amounts of the stereochemically pure flavanols (-)-epicatechin, (-)-catechin, (+)-catechin, and (+)-epicatechin (1.5mg/kg bw) in a well-defined cocoa-based, dairy-containing drink matrix, and flavanol levels were subsequently determined in plasma and 24-h urine. The results obtained show that the stereochemical configuration of flavanols has a profound influence on their uptake and metabolism in humans. In addition, we assessed the vasodilatory activity of each flavanol stereoisomer in vivo and found (-)-epicatechin to be the single stereoisomer capable of mediating a significant arterial dilation response. Importantly, this effect was independent of the classic antioxidant properties of flavanols. Overall, these results indicate that the proposed beneficial health effects associated with the consumption of flavanol-containing foods will significantly depend on the stereochemical configuration of the flavanols ingested.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 11/2010; 50(2):237-44. · 5.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first enantioselective syntheses of sulfur flavan-3-ol analogues 1-8 have been accomplished, whereby the oxygen atom of the pyran ring has been replaced by a sulfur atom. The key steps were: (a) Pd(0) catalyzed introduction of -S t-butyl group, (b) Sharpless enantioselective dihydroxylation of the alkene, (c) acid catalyzed ring closure to produce the thiopyran ring, and (d) removal of benzyl groups using N,N-dimethylaniline and AlCl(3). The compounds were isolated in high chemical and optical purity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) medically managed according to currently accepted guidelines, we tested whether a 1-month dietary intervention with flavanol-containing cocoa leads to an improvement of endothelial dysfunction and whether this is associated with an enhanced number and function of circulating angiogenic cells (CACs).
Dietary flavanols can improve endothelial dysfunction. The CACs, also termed endothelial progenitor cells, are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function.
In a randomized, controlled, double-masked, cross-over trial, 16 CAD patients (64+/-3 years of age) received a dietary high-flavanol intervention (HiFI [375 mg]) and a macronutrient- and micronutrient-matched low-flavanol intervention (LoFI [9 mg]) twice daily in random order over 30 days.
Endothelium-dependent vasomotor function, as measured by flow-mediated vasodilation of the brachial artery, improved by 47% in the HiFI period compared with the LoFI period. After HiFI, the number of CD34+/KDR+-CACs, as measured by flow cytometry, increased 2.2-fold as compared with after LoFI. The CAC functions, as measured by the capacity to survive, differentiate, proliferate, and to migrate were not different between the groups. The HiFI led to a decrease in systolic blood pressure (mean change over LoFI: -4.2+/-2.7 mm Hg), and increase in plasma nitrite level (mean change over LoFI: 74+/-32 nM). Applying a mixed-effects linear regression model, the results demonstrated a significant increase in flow-mediated vasodilation and a decrease in systolic blood pressure with increasing levels of CD34+/KDR+-CACs.
Sustained improvements in endothelial dysfunction by regular dietary intake of flavanols are associated with mobilization of functional CACs. (Effect of Cocoa Flavanols on Vascular Function in Optimally Treated Coronary Artery Disease Patients: Interaction Between Endothelial Progenitor Cells, Reactivity of Micro- and Macrocirculation; NCT00553774).
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 07/2010; 56(3):218-24. · 15.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The extended abstracts in this report are based on presentations from the 12(th) Special Conference on Functional Foods for Health Promotion, cosponsored by the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI North America) Project Committee on Flavonoids and the American Society for Nutrition at the Experimental Biology meeting in April 2009. The theme of this year's special conference was "State-of-the-Science on Dietary Flavonoids." The conference began with a general introduction and overview of flavonoids and their presence in the diet as well as the estimated intake levels in the US population. Subsequent presentations addressed issues pertaining to study design and interpretation, mechanisms of action, and the potential health impacts related to inflammation, the vasculature, and the brain. The present summary of the current science indicates that dietary flavonoids, particularly flavanols, show promising potential for reducing cardiovascular disease risk via reduction of inflammation and improvement in vascular function. However, the existing data must be interpreted cautiously, with consideration given to the compound tested (i.e., parent or metabolite), the use of controls, and the practicality of the concentrations used. While more data are needed on the long-term health impacts of dietary flavonoids in humans, including the efficacious dose, current data indicate it may soon be possible to develop public health messages about flavonoid-rich foods.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our goal was to test feasibility and efficacy of a dietary intervention based on daily intake of flavanol-containing cocoa for improving vascular function of medicated diabetic patients.
Even in fully medicated diabetic patients, overall prognosis is unfavorable due to deteriorated cardiovascular function. Based on epidemiological data, diets rich in flavanols are associated with a reduced cardiovascular risk.
In a feasibility study with 10 diabetic patients, we assessed vascular function as flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, plasma levels of flavanol metabolites, and tolerability after an acute, single-dose ingestion of cocoa, containing increasing concentrations of flavanols (75, 371, and 963 mg). In a subsequent efficacy study, changes in vascular function in 41 medicated diabetic patients were assessed after a 30-day, thrice-daily dietary intervention with either flavanol-rich cocoa (321 mg flavanols per dose) or a nutrient-matched control (25 mg flavanols per dose). Both studies were undertaken in a randomized, double-masked fashion. Primary and secondary outcome measures included changes in FMD and plasma flavanol metabolites, respectively.
A single ingestion of flavanol-containing cocoa was dose-dependently associated with significant acute increases in circulating flavanols and FMD (at 2 h: from 3.7 +/- 0.2% to 5.5 +/- 0.4%, p < 0.001). A 30-day, thrice-daily consumption of flavanol-containing cocoa increased baseline FMD by 30% (p < 0.0001), while acute increases of FMD upon ingestion of flavanol-containing cocoa continued to be manifest throughout the study. Treatment was well tolerated without evidence of tachyphylaxia. Endothelium-independent responses, blood pressure, heart rate, and glycemic control were unaffected.
Diets rich in flavanols reverse vascular dysfunction in diabetes, highlighting therapeutic potentials in cardiovascular disease.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 07/2008; 51(22):2141-9. · 15.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The availability of l-arginine can be a rate-limiting factor for cellular NO production by nitric oxide synthases (NOS). Arginase competes with NOS for l-arginine as the common substrate. Increased arginase activity has been linked to low NO levels, and an inhibition of arginase activity has been reported to improve endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation. Based on the above, we hypothesized that an increase in the circulating NO pool following flavanol consumption could be correlated with decreased arginase activity. To test this hypothesis we (a) investigated the effects of (-)-epicatechin and its structurally related metabolites on endothelial arginase expression and activity in vitro; (b) evaluated the effects of dietary flavanol-rich cocoa on kidney arginase activity in vivo; and (c) assessed human erythrocyte arginase activity following flavanol-rich cocoa beverage consumption in a double-blind intervention study with cross-over design. The results demonstrate that cocoa flavanols lower arginase-2 mRNA expression and activity in HUVEC. Dietary intervention with flavanol-rich cocoa caused diminished arginase activity in rat kidney and, erythrocyte arginase activity was lowered in healthy humans following consumption of a high flavanol beverage in vivo.
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 04/2008; 476(2):211-5. · 3.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence suggests that the cellular actions of flavonoids relate not simply to their antioxidant potential but also to the modulation of protein kinase signalling pathways. We investigated in primary cortical neurons, the ability of the flavan-3-ol, (-)epicatechin, and its human metabolites at physiologically relevant concentrations, to stimulate phosphorylation of the transcription factor cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB), a regulator of neuronal viability and synaptic plasticity. (-)Epicatechin at 100-300 nmol/L stimulated a rapid, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)- and PI3K-dependent, increase in CREB phosphorylation. At micromolar concentrations, stimulation was no longer apparent and at the highest concentration tested (30 mumol/L) (-)epicatechin was inhibitory. (-)Epicatechin also stimulated ERK and Akt phosphorylation with similar bell-shaped concentration-response characteristics. The human metabolite 3'-O-methyl-(-)epicatechin was as effective as (-)epicatechin at stimulating ERK phosphorylation, but (-)epicatechin glucuronide was inactive. (-)Epicatechin and 3'-O-methyl-(-)epicatechin treatments (100 nmol/L) increased CRE-luciferase activity in cortical neurons in a partially ERK-dependent manner, suggesting the potential to increase CREB-mediated gene expression. mRNA levels of the glutamate receptor subunit GluR2 increased by 60%, measured 18 h after a 15 min exposure to (-)epicatechin and this translated into an increase in GluR2 protein. Thus, (-)epicatechin has the potential to increase CREB-regulated gene expression and increase GluR2 levels and thus modulate neurotransmission, plasticity and synaptogenesis.
Journal of Neurochemistry 07/2007; 101(6):1596-606. · 4.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diet and exercise have a profound impact on brain function. In particular, natural nutrients found in plants may influence neuronal survival and plasticity. Here, we tested whether consumption of a plant-derived flavanol, (-)epicatechin, enhances cognition in sedentary or wheel-running female C57BL/6 mice. Retention of spatial memory in the water maze was enhanced by ingestion of (-)epicatechin, especially in combination with exercise. Improved spatial memory was associated with increased angiogenesis and neuronal spine density, but not newborn cell survival, in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Moreover, microarray analysis showed upregulation of genes associated with learning and downregulation of markers of neurodegeneration in the hippocampus. Together, our data show that ingestion of a single flavanol improves spatial memory retention in adult mammals.
Journal of Neuroscience 06/2007; 27(22):5869-78. · 6.75 Impact Factor