Effects of chronic consumption of fruit and vegetable puree-based drinks on vasodilation, plasma oxidative stability and antioxidant status

J Hum Nutr Diet. 2012 Oct;25(5):477-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-277X.2012.01279.x. Epub 2012 Jul 26.


Background: Fruit and vegetable-rich diets are associated with a reduced cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. This protective effect may be a result of the phytochemicals present within fruits and vegetables (F&V). However, there can be considerable variation in the content of phytochemical composition of whole F&V depending on growing location, cultivar, season and agricultural practices, etc. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of consuming fruits and vegetables as puree-based drinks (FVPD) daily on vasodilation, phytochemical bioavailability, antioxidant status and other CVD risk factors. FVPD was chosen to provide a standardised source of F&V material that could be delivered from the same batch to all subjects during each treatment arm of the study.

Methods: Thirty-nine subjects completed the randomised, controlled, cross-over dietary intervention. Subjects were randomised to consume 200 mL of FVPD (or fruit-flavoured control), daily for 6 weeks with an 8-week washout period between treatments. Dietary intake was measured using two 5-day diet records during each cross-over arm of the study. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after each intervention and vasodilation assessed in 19 subjects using laser Doppler imaging with iontophoresis.

Results: FVPD significantly increased dietary vitamin C and carotenoids (P < 0.001), and concomitantly increased plasma α- and β-carotene (P < 0.001) with a near-significant increase in endothelium-dependent vasodilation (P = 0.060).

Conclusions: Overall, the findings obtained in the present study showed that FVPD were a useful vehicle to increase fruit and vegetable intake, significantly increasing dietary and plasma phytochemical concentrations with a trend towards increased endothelium-dependent vasodilation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Beverages
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Seasons
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / physiology
  • Vegetables*


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Oxygen