Bioactive dietary compounds play a critical role in health maintenance. The relation between bioactive compound intake and cardiovascular health-related biomarkers has been demonstrated in several studies, although mainly with participants who have altered biochemical parameters (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, etc.). The aim of this study was to evaluate if adopting a diet low in polyphenol-rich food for two weeks would affect vascular biomarkers in healthy men. In a crossover study, 22 healthy men were randomly assigned to their usual diet (UD), consuming healthy food rich in polyphenols, or to a low antioxidant diet (LAD), with less than two servings of fruit and vegetables per day and avoiding the intake of cocoa products, coffee and tea. As a marker of compliance, total polyphenols in urine were significantly lower after the LAD than after the UD (79 ± 43 vs. 123 ± 58 mg GAE/g creatinine). Nitric oxide levels were also reduced (52 ± 28 in LAD vs. 80 ± 34 µM in UD), although no significant changes in cellular adhesion molecules and eicosanoids were observed; however, an increasing ratio between thromboxane A₂ (TXA₂) and prostaglandin I₂ (PGI₂) was reached (p = 0.048). Thus, a slight dietary modification, reducing the consumption of polyphenol-rich food, may affect vascular biomarkers even in healthy individuals.
Keywords: Mediterranean diet; adhesion molecules; bioactive compounds; eicosanoids; low antioxidant diet; nitric oxide; vascular biomarkers.