Acute dose-response effect of coffee-derived chlorogenic acids on the human vasculature in healthy volunteers: a randomized controlled trial

Am J Clin Nutr. 2021 Feb 2;113(2):370-379. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqaa312.


Background: Epidemiological studies have reported lower risk of cardiovascular disease with moderate coffee consumption. In addition, emerging evidence indicates that consumption of coffee beverages enriched in chlorogenic acids (CGAs) may influence blood pressure and endothelial function, suggesting that the beneficial cardiovascular effect of coffee may relate to its CGA content.

Objectives: We conducted a double-blind randomized crossover trial to test the effect of acute consumption of a decaffeinated green coffee extract (DGCE), rich in CGAs, on endothelial function in healthy subjects.

Methods: We compared 3 different doses of DGCE (302, 604, and 906 mg, respectively) with a placebo. Endothelial function was defined as the percentage change in the internal diameter of the brachial artery in response to flow-mediated dilation (%FMD). In addition, we followed the plasma concentration-time profiles of 25 systemic CGA metabolites over 24 h after DGCE consumption and we explored the relation between systemic concentrations of CGAs and the effect on %FMD.

Results: The DGCE formulations containing different amounts of CGAs resulted in dose-proportional increases in overall total polyphenol concentrations. The systemic appearance of total CGAs was biphasic, in agreement with previous results suggesting 2 sites of absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Compared with the placebo group, a significant FMD increase (>1%) was observed 8.5, 10, and 24 h after consumption of 302 mg DGCE (∼156.4 mg CGAs). The differences with placebo observed in the other 2 groups were not statistically significant. Evaluation of the relation between phenolic exposure and %FMD showed a positive tendency toward a larger effect at higher concentrations and different behavior of CGA metabolites depending on the conjugated chemical position.

Conclusions: We demonstrated an acute improvement in %FMD over time after ingestion of a DGCE, explained at least partly by the presence in the blood circulation of CGAs and their metabolites. This trial was registered at as NCT03520452.

Keywords: coffee; endothelial function; flow-mediated dilation; human; phenolic acids.

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