The effects of Aronia were investigated on endothelial function in young healthy men. Either 500 mg of Aronox, an extract rich in Aronia polyphenols, 500 mg of Aronia FS, a full spectrum aronia berry powder or matching placebo were consumed daily. Chronic (12 week) consumption of the aronia ingredients significantly improved endothelial function as measured by Flow Mediated Dilation (FMD). The Aronox subjects also saw significant acute improvement in FMD two hours post consumption on day one and day 84 (or last day). Chronic aronia consumption correlated with significant changes in specific gut microbial populations, in aronia/microbiome derived metabolites and significant improvements in endothelial function.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and endothelial function may be considered relevant for classifying subjects in terms of CVD risk. Recent meta-analysis (Ras et al, 2015, Matsuzawa et al, 2015) have linked a 1% improvement in endothelial function to an 8-12% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular events. Chronic consumption resulted in a 1.2% (Aronox) and 0.9% (Aronia FS) improvement in endothelial function.
Ana Rodriquez-Mateos, PhD and principal investigator for the study stated, "This study is consistent with previous research from our lab on the positive impact of consumption of polyphenols on cardiovascular health. However, we are intrigued by the strong impact the Aronia FS was able to deliver with its comparatively low polyphenol content. What was most interesting was that by correlating the changes in the host microbiome population, plasma metabolites, and impact on endothelial function we can see a clearer picture of the mechanisms associated polyphenols’ impact on cardiovascular health even in a healthy population.”
Dan Souza, global product manager for Naturex's DBS Division, said: "These results demonstrate that phytochemicals have a significant impact on the microbiome. As more studies like this emerge the ability for phytochemicals to influence the host microbiome and impact health will come into focus. Naturex will continue to pioneer this space.”