les Borges del Camp, Spain
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Sola R.,Rovira i Virgili University | Valls R.M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Godas G.,Rovira i Virgili University | Perez-Busquets G.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Cocoa, mixed with other food ingredients, intake can have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarkers. We compared the effects of 4 cocoa cream products on some of these biomarkers. Methods and Findings: In this multi-centered, randomized, controlled, double-blind, parallel trial, volunteers (n = 113; age range: 43-65 years) who were pre-hypertensive, stage-1 hypertensive and hypercholesterolemic received one of 4 cocoa cream products (13 g/unit; 1 g cocoa/unit, 6 units/d; 465 Kcal/d) added to a low saturated fat diet for 4 weeks. The groups were: A) (n = 28), cocoa cream considered as control; B) (n = 28), cocoa+hazelnut cream (30 g/d hazelnuts); C) (n = 30), cocoa+hazelnuts+phytosterols (2 g/d); and D) (n = 27), cocoa+hazelnuts+phytosterols+soluble fiber (20 g/d) the patented "LMN product". Primary outcome measures were BP, LDL-c, apolipoprotein B-100 (Apo B), ApoB/ApoA ratio, oxidized LDL (oxLDL) and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) determined at baseline and post-cocoa cream product intake. Statistical analysis used was ANCOVA or mixed models (in case of repeated measurements), with baseline observation included as a covariate. After 4 weeks, compared to product A, product C reduced LDL-c by 11.2%, Apo B by 8.1% and ApoB/ApoA ratio by 7.8% (P = 0.01). LMN decreased LDL-c by 9.2%, Apo B-100 by 8.5%, ApoB/ApoA ratio by 10.5%, hsCRP by 33.4% and oxLDL by 5.9% (P = 0.01). Surprisingly, even "control" product A reduced systolic BP (-7.89 mmHg; 95%CI: -11.45 to -4.3) and diastolic BP (-5.54 mmHg; 95%CI: -7.79 to -3.29). The BP reductions were similar with the other 3 products. Limitations of the study are that the trial period was relatively short and that a better "BP control" product would have been preferable. Conclusion: The creams (particularly the LMN) have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in addition to lowering LDL-c, Apo B and ApoB/ApoA ratio. Thus, the soluble fiber effects amplified with sterols (as contained in the cocoa creams) provide new dietary therapeutic perspectives. © 2012 Solà et al.


Lopez M.I.,Rovira i Virgili University | Trullols E.,La Morella Nuts | Callao M.P.,Rovira i Virgili University | Ruisanchez I.,Rovira i Virgili University
Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

Two multivariate screening strategies (untargeted and targeted modelling) have been developed to compare their ability to detect food fraud. As a case study, possible adulteration of hazelnut paste is considered. Two different adulterants were studied, almond paste and chickpea flour. The models were developed from near-infrared (NIR) data coupled with soft independent modelling of class analogy (SIMCA) as a classification technique. Regarding the untargeted strategy, only unadulterated samples were modelled, obtaining 96.3% of correct classification. The prediction of adulterated samples gave errors between 5.5% and 2%. Regarding targeted modelling, two classes were modelled: Class 1 (unadulterated samples) and Class 2 (almond adulterated samples). Samples adulterated with chickpea were predicted to prove its ability to deal with non-modelled adulterants. The results show that samples adulterated with almond were mainly classified in their own class (90.9%) and samples with chickpea were classified in Class 2 (67.3%) or not in any class (30.9%), but no one only as unadulterated. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Serra A.,University of Lleida | Macia A.,University of Lleida | Rubio L.,University of Lleida | Angles N.,La Morella Nuts | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

Background: Procyanidins are extensively metabolized via phase-II and microbial enzymes. However, their distribution in the body is not well characterized. Aim: This study investigates the distribution of procyanidins (monomers and dimers) and their phase-II metabolites in plasma and tissues (thymus, heart, liver, testicle, lung, kidney, spleen and brain). Methods: Wistar rats were fed with 1 g of cocoa cream (CC), 50 mg of procyanidin hazelnut skin extract (PE) and 50 mg PE in 1 g CC (PECC). The rats were killed at 0, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4 and 18 h after gavage, and the plasma and tissues were analyzed by UPLC-MS/MS. Results: Epicatechin-glucuronide was the main metabolite in the plasma after the CC intake, with C max at 423 nM and t max at 2 h, and methyl catechin-glucuronide (301 nM, 2 h) was the main metabolite in the plasma after the PE intake. As a result of the PECC enrichment, epicatechin-glucuronide (452 nM, 1.5 h) and catechin-glucuronide (297 nM, 2 h) were the main metabolites in the plasma. Methyl catechin-glucuronide was found in the liver after PE (8 nmol/g tissue, 4 h) and PECC (8 nmol/g, 1.5 h). The kidney was found to contain a high concentration of phase-II metabolites of procyanidins and is therefore thought to be the main site of metabolism of the compounds. Methyl catechin-sulfate (6.4 nmol/g, 4 h) was only quantified in the brain and after PE intake. Catechin metabolites were not found in the spleen or heart. Phenolic acids were detected in all tissues. Conclusions: The formulation of a product enriched or fortified with procyanidins is a way to increase their bioavailability, with clear effects on the plasmatic pharmacokinetics, and a greater accumulation of phenolic metabolites in such tissues as the liver, kidney, lung and brain. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


Vitaglione P.,University of Naples | Barone Lumaga R.,University of Naples | Ferracane R.,University of Naples | Sellitto S.,University of Naples | And 4 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2013

Human bioavailability of cocoa flavanols and phenolic acids from a cocoa-nut cream (CC) and from CC enriched with a 1.5 % (w/w) cocoa polyphenol extract in free form (FPC) or encapsulated with a gastric-resistant high-amylose maize starch (EPC), was studied. In a randomised cross-over protocol, with 1-week wash-out in between, twelve healthy volunteers had three portions/d of each cream, providing approximately 190 μmol/d of total flavanols and 12 μmol/d of total phenolic acids with CC and 385 and 28 μmol/d with both FPC and EPC, respectively. Blood, urine and faecal samples were analysed by HPLC/MS/MS. Serum (epi)catechin was absent at baseline and after CC consumption, while 22.1 (sem 2.62) and 1.59 (sem 0.22) nmol (P <0.05) were found after FPC and EPC, respectively. The EPC increased faecal excretion of total flavanols compared to FPC (151.0 (sem 54.6) v. 28.0 (sem 14.0) nmol; P <0.05). Within 6 h after consumption, serum phenolic acid content was 50-fold higher than (epi)catechin; no difference between CC and FPC was observed, but a significant reduction after EPC (1954 (sem 236.3) and 1459 (sem 137.6) v. 726.8 (sem 73.4) nmol, P <0.05) was recorded. Short-term phenolic acid urinary excretions were significantly higher after FPC than CC and EPC, the values being 11.4 (sem 5.1) v. 3.1 (sem 1.7) and 0.9 (sem 0.5) μmol, respectively. Faecal phenolic acids were approximately 60-fold reduced after FPC (8.1 (sem 0.13) nmol) and EPC (14.7 (sem 2.7) nmol) consumption compared to CC (641.4 (sem 99.1) nmol) consumption. The data demonstrated that: (i) (epi)catechin was absorbed from CC; (ii) cocoa polyphenols' consumption increased circulating phenolic acids; and (iii) encapsulated ingredient increased flavanol delivering into the gut. Further studies should evaluate whether encapsulated cocoa polyphenols may be a functional prebiotic ingredient. © 2012 The Authors.

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