Background: Respiratory diseases are associated with pulmonary oxidative stress and inflammatory processes. Though studies in animal models suggest that dietary polyphenols improve lung injury, no intervention studies were carried out in humans. The aim of this study was to determine whether the intake of an anthocyanin-rich maqui extract improved H2O2 and IL-6 concentrations in exhaled breath condensates (EBCs) from asymptomatic smokers.
Findings: 15 asymptomatic smokers with mild cigarette smoking (3 pack-year [2.4 - 7.7]) (mean [CI95%]) were recruited in this exploratory longitudinal study. They ingested 2 g of maqui extract (polyphenol content = 5.18 ± 2.00 g GAE/100 g; FRAP value = 27.1 ± 2.0 mmol Fe(++)/100 g), twice daily for two weeks. EBCs were collected before and after treatment and the changes in H2O2 and IL-6 concentrations were determined by fluorimetry and Elisa, respectively. The EBC contents of H2O2 and IL-6 H2O2 before and after treatment in smokers were also compared with those determined in single EBC samples from 8 healthy non-smokers subjects. At baseline, the H2O2 concentrations were higher and those of IL-6 lower in the smokers than in the non-smokers. Maqui extract significantly decreased H2O2 (p < 0.0002) and increased IL-6 (p < 0.004) in the EBC from smokers. The EBC concentrations of H2O2 and IL-6 after maqui administration did not differ between smokers and non-smokers.
Conclusions: Maqui extract normalizes IL-6 and H2O2 concentrations in EBC from humans with mild smoking habits. If confirmed, these results suggest that dietary polyphenols might be considered as an interesting alternative for the dietary management of respiratory disorders.