Flavonoid supplementation improves brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), but it is not known whether flavonoids protect against vascular dysfunction induced by ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury and associated respiratory burst. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, we investigated whether 4 wk supplementation with freeze-dried Montmorency cherry (MC) attenuated suppression of FMD after IR induced by prolonged forearm occlusion. Twelve physically inactive overweight, middle-aged men (52.8 ± 5.8 yr, BMI: 28.1 ± 5.3 kg/m2) consumed MC (235 mg/day anthocyanins) or placebo capsules for 4 wk, with supplementation blocks separated by 4 wk washout. Before and after each supplementation block, FMD responses and plasma nitrate and nitrite ([ ]) concentrations were measured at baseline and 15, 30, and 45 min after prolonged (20 min) forearm occlusion. FMD response was significantly depressed by the prolonged occlusion ( P < 0.001). After a 45-min reperfusion, FMD was restored to baseline levels after MC (ΔFMD presupplementation: -30.5 ± 8.4%, postsupplementation: -0.6 ± 9.5%) but not placebo supplementation (ΔFMD presupplementation: -11.6 ± 10.6, postsupplementation: -25.4 ± 4.0%; condition × supplement interaction: P = 0.038). Plasma [ ] decreased after prolonged occlusion but recovered faster after MC compared with placebo (Δ45 min to baseline; MC: presupplementation: -15.3 ± 9.6, postsupplementation: -6.2 ± 8.1; Placebo: presupplementation: -16.3 ± 5.9, postsupplementation: -27.7 ± 11.1 nmol/l; condition × supplement × time interaction: P = 0.033). Plasma peroxiredoxin concentration ([Prx2]) was significantly higher after MC (presupplementation: 22.8 ± 1.4, postsupplementation: 28.0 ± 2.4 ng/ml, P = 0.029) but not after placebo supplementation (presupplementation: 22.1 ± 2.2, postsupplementation: 23.7 ± 1.5 ng/ml). In conclusion, 4 wk MC supplementation enhanced recovery of endothelium-dependent vasodilatation after IR, in parallel with faster recovery of plasma [ ], suggesting NO dependency. These protective effects seem to be related to increased plasma [Prx2], presumably conferring protection against the respiratory burst during reperfusion. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study to demonstrate that 4 wk of Montmorency cherry powder supplementation exerted protective effects on endothelium-dependent vasodilation after transient ischemia-reperfusion injury in overweight, physically inactive, nonmedicated, hypertensive middle-aged men. These effects seem to be due to increased nitric oxide availability, as evidenced by higher plasma nitrite concentration and peak arterial diameter during the flow-mediated dilation measurement. This may be a consequence of increased concentration of peroxiredoxin and other antioxidant systems and, hence, reduced reactive oxygen species exposure.
Keywords: Montmorency cherry; endothelial function; forearm occlusion; nitrite/nitrate; peroxiredoxin-2.