Effects of a beverage rich in (poly)phenols on established and novel risk markers for vascular disease in medically uncomplicated overweight or obese subjects: A four week randomized placebo-controlled trial


      • Supportive data for cardiovascular risk reduction with (poly)phenols are largely observational.
      • This study meets CONSORT criteria as one for the few randomised placebo-controlled trials in this area.
      • Established and novel cardiovascular risk markers were assessed in medically uncomplicated overweight and obese subjects.
      • There was no evidence for a short-term beneficial effect with supplementation with a (poly)phenol enriched beverage.



      To determine if (poly)phenols alter cardiovascular risk factors, we assessed the potential of a high (poly)phenol beverage drink, rich in hydroxycinnamates and flavonoids, to modify vascular function in middle aged, overweight or obese subjects without medical co-morbidity in a randomized placebo controlled pilot study.


      Randomly assigned active 250 ml beverages containing 361 mg of (poly)phenols and 120 mg of vitamin C or placebo (no polyphenol/vitamin C) were taken twice daily for 4 weeks. Both beverages contained 40 kcals/250 ml. The primary end-points were pulse wave velocity (PWV) and cutaneous microvascular responses to sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and acetyl choline (ACh) laser doppler iontophoresis. A range of established and novel plasma markers were also measured.


      Twenty subjects received active beverage and 19 placebo; all completed the study. There was no difference in cutaneous vascular response to either SNP or ACh with mean group differences (logΔ area under perfusion curve) of 0.30 (−0.65, 1.26) and 0.35 (−0.11, 0.81) respectively. Nor was there evidence of a change in log PWV with a mean group difference of 0.029 m/s (−0.042, 0.10). No significant differences were seen in plasma leptin, apolipoproteins, cystatin C, insulin, adiponectin, CRP, ICAM-1, E-Selectin or t-PA, but IL-6 increased in active versus placebo recipients (0.32 vs – 0.18 pg/ml; p=0.010).


      There was no evidence for a short-term beneficial effect of (poly)phenol intervention on microcutaneous vascular response or pulse wave velocity, and no evidence for a benefit on established or novel risk factors in overweight or obese subjects. Our results do not support a short-term benefit of (poly)phenol supplementation on cardiometabolic risk.
      Registration: Clinical (NCT00795834).



      PWV (pulse wave velocity), SNP (sodium nitroprusside), ACh (acetyl choline), HPLC-MS2 (high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry)
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