Submitted to: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2011
Publication Date: 5/1/2011
Citation: Dohadwala, M.M., Holbrook, M., Hamburg, N.M., Shenouda, S.M., Chung, W.B., Titas, M., Kluge, M.A., Wang, N., Palmisano, J., Milbury, P.E., Blumberg, J.B., Vita, J.A. 2011. Effects of cranberry juice consumption on vascular function in patients with coronary artery disease. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 93(5):934-940. Interpretive Summary: Cranberry juice is rich in polyphenols, a class of phytochemicals that have been associated in other studies with an improvement in the function of blood vessels and a decreased risk of heart disease. We conducted a double blind, placebo controlled clinical trial to determine whether the consumption of cranberry juice has a beneficial impact on vascular function in people with coronary heart disease. In random order, subjects received either the placebo beverage or cranberry juice first and were tested before and after four weeks with a two week rest period between treatments. Mean carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, a clinically relevant measure of the stiffness of the central aorta, significantly decreased during the cranberry treatment in comparison to the placebo group. Other measures of vascular function were not changed. Our results support current recommendations promoting a diet rich in vegetables and fruit, including cranberries, in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Technical Abstract: Cranberry juice contains polyphenolic compounds that could improve endothelial function and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The objective was to examine the effects of cranberry juice on vascular function in subjects with coronary artery disease. We completed an acute pilot study with no placebo (n = 15) and a chronic placebo-controlled crossover study (n = 44) that examined the effects of cranberry juice on vascular function in subjects with coronary artery disease. In the chronic crossover study, subjects with coronary heart disease consumed a research preparation of double-strength cranberry juice (54% juice, 835 mg total polyphenols, and 94 mg anthocyanins) or a matched placebo beverage (480 mL/d) for 4 wk each with a 2-wk rest period between beverages. Beverage order was randomly assigned, and participants refrained from consuming other flavonoid-containing beverages during the study. Vascular function was measured before and after each beverage, with follow-up testing more than 12 h after consumption of the last beverage. Mean (6SD) carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, a measure of central aortic stiffness, decreased after cranberry juice (8.3 6 2.3 to 7.8 6 2.2 m/s) in contrast with an increase after placebo (8.0 6 2.0 to 8.4 6 2.8 m/s) (P = 0.003). Brachial artery flow-mediated dilation, digital pulse amplitude tonometry, blood pressure, and carotid-radial pulse wave velocity did not change. In the uncontrolled pilot study, we observed improved brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (7.7 6 2.9% to 8.7 6 3.1%, P = 0.01) and digital pulse amplitude tonometry ratio (0.10 6 0.12 to 0.23 6 0.16, P = 0.001) 4 h after consumption of a single 480-mL portion of cranberry juice. Chronic cranberry juice consumption reduced carotid femoral pulse wave velocity—a clinically relevant measure of arterial stiffness. The uncontrolled pilot study suggested an acute benefit; however, no chronic effect on measures of endothelial vasodilator function was found.