Consumption of polyphenol-rich peach and plum juice prevents risk factors for obesity-related metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease in Zucker rats.
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Polyphenols from fruits have been implied in the prevention of risk factors for cardiometabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate if the consumption of peach and plum juice has a protective effect against obesity and metabolic disorders that promote the development of cardiovascular diseases. Obese Zucker and lean rats were fed with peach, plum juice ad libitum or placebo. Body weight gain, biochemical markers and molecular markers for inflammation and cardiovascular disease in heart tissue were quantified. Results show that peach and plum juice consumption protected against a combination of obesity-induced metabolic disorders including hyperglycemia, insulin and leptin resistance, dyslipidemia and low-density lipoprotein oxidation. This was accompanied by a decreased expression of pro-atherogenic and pro-inflammatory biomarkers in plasma and heart tissues including intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, NF-B and foam cell adherence to aortic arches. In addition, peach and plum juice consumption decreased the levels of angiotensin II in plasma and its receptor Agtr1 in heart tissues, suggesting a role of peach and plum polyphenols as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- agonists. Furthermore, only plum juice significantly prevented body weight gain and increased the ratio high-density lipoprotein cholesterol/total cholesterol in plasma. This effect is most likely attributed to the plum's higher content of polyphenols (three times that of peach). Altogether, these results imply that cardioprotective effects can be achieved by replacing drinks high in sugar content with fruit juice rich in polyphenols in a diet.