Apple Polyphenol Extract – Epicatechin Improves Arterial Health?

Full Disclosure

Throughout someone’s life, the arteries are constantly at risk for the buildup of fat along their walls, causing a major problem to the heart’s ability to properly pump blood. This buildup is referred to as atherosclerosis. If left untreated, or even just ignored, the arteries have many potential problems, like losing elasticity and becoming fibrosis. Most people know this process as the hardening of the arteries.

With dangerous buildup, consumers are at risk for heart attacks and other heart-related problems. The changes can start as early as childhood without anyone being the wiser, but some of the physical indications that this issue should be addressed are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyles

If the individual avoids these troubles, they probably already have a healthy enough heart. However, consumers that do not give their body the right support could be setting themselves up for a much shorter lifespan. There are a few things that consumers can change in their diet to improve it, like adding cocoa.

Recently, there was a study performed by Finland researchers to determine if this risk to the arteries can be reduced or avoided entirely with the use of apple polyphenol.

Why Use Apple Polyphenol Extract?

The theory of the researchers was that the high content of epicatechin from an apple polyphenol extract would positively impact the endothelial cell functions. Endothelial cells are found along the lining of the arteries, and they help to regulate their health.

Apple polyphenols are known for their ability to reverse the impact of oxidation, inflammation, and glycation. In some cases, the skin has been used to reduce blood sugar. However, since it helps with inflammation in many cases, the researchers decided to test the impact on the heart health of willing participants.

The Experiment

During the testing with these researchers, 60 volunteers were included, all of which experienced mild hypertension, but otherwise had a clean bill of health. Each day, the researchers gave the entire group a single capsule.

Some of the capsules offered a placebo, while others contained the apple polyphenol. The experiment lasted for four weeks with either of the capsules, followed by four weeks of absolutely no treatment. Then, the capsules were switched, offering the opposite group the placebo for four weeks.

During the course of this regimen, the scientists took the time to test endothelial function at each of the stages with Flow-Mediated Vasodilation (FMD). This process allowed them to take an ultrasound to the brachial artery, during while time the blood flow has been inflated and then released.

Can Apple Polyphenol Extract Improve Arterial Health?

There were two aspects to arterial health that the researchers addressed – the FMD of the brachial artery and mild hypertension. With the brachial artery, immediate results were seen with participants that took the apple polyphenol capsule. However, there was essentially no impact on the mild hypertension, which was the greater concern.

To form a more conclusive result, the research study will need to be performed with a greater range of individuals and conditions as variables.

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