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Polyphenols and Microvascular Function in Humans: A Systematic Review

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Background: Polyphenol-rich dietary sources are acknowledged to have potential cardiovascular health benefits, particularly in reducing cardiovascular disease risk.

Methods: This systematic review sought to determine the effect of polyphenol-rich foods and beverages upon microvascular function, which is of considerable importance in its contribution towards the pathophysiology of microvascular-related complications but also in the future development of (macro-vessel) cardiovascular disease.

Results: Overall, consumption of polyphenol-rich foods and beverages demonstrate improved microvascular function, although this is dependent upon the polyphenol source, the dose of the product, the duration of consumption and the population group studied. Most subgroups reviewed suggest an overall beneficial effect on microvascular function, particularly grape-derived products, cocoa, tea, pine bark and Rutaceae aurantiae. Other groups remain equivocal and require further study due to the limited research performed to date.

Conclusion: Polyphenols are abundant in the human diet and this systematic review demonstrates that they are an inexpensive, non-pharmacological approach for improving cardiovascular health in currently healthy individuals and in populations with microvascular dysfunction.

Keywords: Microcirculation; cardiovascular disease; cocoa; flavonoids; polyphenol-rich foods; polyphenols

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

This article was made available online on December 29, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Polyphenols and Microvascular Function in Humans: A Systematic Review".

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Design publishes timely in-depth reviews covering all aspects of current research in rational drug design. Each issue is devoted to a single major therapeutic area. A Guest Editor who is an acknowledged authority in a therapeutic field has solicits for each issue comprehensive and timely reviews from leading researchers in the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

    Each thematic issue of Current Pharmaceutical Design covers all subject areas of major importance to modern drug design, including: medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, drug targets and disease mechanism.
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