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Masquelier’s OPC supplements may boost vascular health via gene expression changes: Study

By Stephen DANIELLS , 12-Jun-2014

Daily supplements of oligomeric procyanidins from grape seeds may change gene expression associated with cardiovascular disease pathways, according to a new study by an international group of genomics scientists.

Writing in PLoS ONE , scientists report that supplements of Masquelier’s Original OPCs (MOPCs) at a dose of 200 mg modulated the expression of 864 genes, which play a role in a number of key biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell infiltration, and chemotaxis.

“Our results emphasize the capacity of grape seed–derived [MOPCs] to decrease the adhesion of immune cells to the vascular endothelium and potentially lower infiltration of these immune cells into the vascular wall, which is an initial step in atherosclerosis development,” explained the researchers.

“It could be postulated that the regular consumption of [MOPCs] could decrease blood cell infiltration into the vasculature and potentially protect against atherosclerotic lesions in humans.”

The OPCs were provided by the International Nutrition Company BV based in the Netherlands.

The new data expands on earlier findings by researchers at Maastricht University (Weseler et al. (2011), PLoS ONE 6(12): e28460), which verfied the effect of MOPCs on a number of relevant cardiovascular biomarkers, and positive changes in the Cardiovascular Health Index.

For the new study the researchers recruited 13 male smokers to participate in their eight week study. Men were given 200 mg per day of the OPCs and gene expression profiles determined using whole-genome microarrays.

Results showed that the supplements were associated with the expression of 864 genes, which had actions linked ultimately to lower immune cell adhesion to endothelial cells.

Complimentary in vitro data suggested that the MOPCs were influencing the immune cells’ response to endothelial cells.

“Our study revealed that an 8 week daily supplementation with 200 mg [MOPCs] modulates the expression of genes associated with cardiovascular disease pathways without major changes of their DNA methylation state,” wrote the researchers. “However, strong inter-individual variation in leukocyte [MOPCs] methylation may obscure the subtle epigenetic response to dietary flavanols.

“Despite the lack of significant changes in DNA methylation, the modulation of gene expression appears to contribute to the observed vascular health effect of [MOPCs] in humans.”

Source: PLoS ONE
9(4): e95527. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095527
“Dietary Flavanols Modulate the Transcription of Genes Associated with Cardiovascular Pathology without Changes in Their DNA Methylation State”
Authos: D. Milenkovic, W. Vanden Berghe, C. Boby, C. Leroux, et al.

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