Physiologically relevant screening of polyphenol-rich commercial preparations for bioactivity in vascular endothelial cells and application to healthy volunteers: A viable workflow and a cautionary tale


YesThis study describes the screening of 13 commercially-available plant extracts for pharmacological activity modulating vascular function using an endothelial cell model. A French maritime pine bark extract (FMPBE) was found to have the greatest effect upon nitric oxide availability in control (181% ± 36% of untreated cells) and dysfunctional cells (132% ± 8% of untreated control cells). In healthy volunteers, the FMPBE increased plasma nitrite concentrations 8 h post-consumption compared to baseline (baseline corrected median 1.71 ± 0.38 (25% IQR) and 4.76 (75% IQR) µM, p 0.05), however HPLC-UV fingerprinting showed that the new batch had a 5-15% in major constituents (including procyanidins A2, B1 and B2) compared to the original batch. This research describes a robust mechanism for screening bioactive extracts for vascular effects. It also highlights batch variability as a significant limitation when using complex extracts for pharmacological activity, and suggests the use of in vitro systems as a tool to identify this problem in future studies

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