Several observational and intervention studies have found an inverse association between the risk of
cardiovascular disease and the consumption of polyphenol-rich foods and beverages such as cocoa, fruit and vegetables,
tea, virgin olive oil and wine. We present here an overview of the latest research on the beneficial effect of dietary
polyphenols on blood pressure, focusing on the development of urine biomarkers for an accurate estimation of polyphenol
intake. Total polyphenols (TP) excreted in spot urine samples have been successfully used as a biomarker of the
consumption, bioavailability and accumulation of TP in a cross-sectional clinical trial. In addition, we describe how the
vasoprotective effect of dietary polyphenols has been related to their ability to increase endothelial synthesis of nitric
oxide (NO) and endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF)-mediated responses.
Keywords: Biomarkers, blood pressure, fruits and vegetables, hypertension, polyphenols, urinary polyphenol.
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