Acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa beverage improves attenuated cutaneous microvascular function in healthy young African Americans.
Microvasc Res. 2019 Oct 22 ;128:103931. Epub 2019 Oct 22. PMID: 31654654
Flavanols have beneficial effects on vascular health and we have recently demonstrated that cerebral vasodilatory capacity in healthy young African Americans (AA) is improved with acute flavanol intake relative to aged-matched Caucasian Americans (CA). However, whether the positive benefits of acute flavanol consumption would also be present in the cutaneous microvascular circulation of AA remains unknown. Thus, we hypothesized that acute consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa (FC) would improve the previously reported reduced cutaneous microvascular responses to local heating in young AA. Seven AA and seven CA participated in this double-blind crossover study. Data were collected on two different days, separated by a minimum of one week. Two intradermal microdialysis membranes were inserted in the forearm and each site was randomly assigned to receive lactated Ringer's solution or NO synthase (NOS) inhibitor. Participants were randomly assigned to consume either a non-flavanol containing (NF) beverage or FC beverage. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated as cutaneous blood flux/mean arterial pressure and normalized as % maximal CVC (%CVCmax). The difference in %CVCmax between the Ringer's site and NOS inhibited site was calculated to assess NO contribution (Δ %CVCmax). In the Ringer's site, acute consumption of FC beverage improved %CVCmax during 39 °C heating when compared to NF beverage in AA (NF: 36 ± 6 vs. FC: 47 ± 5%CVCmax; P < .01) while there was similar %CVCmax during 39 °C heating between beverages in CA (NF: 55 ± 4 vs. FC: 59 ± 5%CVCmax; P = .40). During 39 °C heating, NO contribution was significantly higher with FC beverage than NF beverage in AA (NF: 27 ± 5 vs. FC: 35 ± 4 Δ %CVCmax; P = .03) while there was similar NO contribution between beverages in CA (NF: 42 ± 4 vs. FC: 45 ± 4 Δ %CVCmax; P = .36). This data suggests that acute consumption of FC could be a therapeutic solution to improve an attenuated microvascular function in young AA.