Long-term antihypertensive effect of a soluble cocoa fiber product in spontaneously hypertensive rats

  • Sandra Fernández-Vallinas
  • Marta Miguel
  • Amaya Aleixandre
Keywords: Angiotensin converting enzyme, Antioxidant properties, Blood pressure, Dietary fiber, Spontaneously hypertensive rats


Background and Methods: This study evaluates the antihypertensive effect of long-term intake of a soluble cocoa fiber product (SCFP). Different doses of SCFP were evaluated (200, 400, and 800 mg/kg/day) and a dose of 800 mg/kg/day of beta-glucan 0.75 (BETA-G) was used as a standard fiber. Water, a neutral vehicle, was used as negative control, and 50 mg/kg/day captopril was used as positive control. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) was measured weekly by the tail cuff method. Body weight, food, and liquid intake were also registered weekly in the rats from 10 to 24 weeks of life. Glucose, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels; redox status; and the angiotensin-converting enzyme activity were also studied in the plasma samples of these animals.

Results: Throughout the 10 weeks of treatment, captopril and SCFP (400 mg/kg/day) demonstrated blood pressure lowering effects in the spontaneously hypertensive rats (p<0.05; n=8). Paradoxically, neither the highest dose (800 mg/kg/day) of SCFP decreased SBP nor 800 mg/kg/day BETA-G (p>0.05; n=8). When the corresponding antihypertensive treatment, was disrupted the SBP values of the 400 mg/kg/day SCFP treated animals returned to control values (p>0.05; n=8). In addition, the SCFP significantly decreased (p<0.05; n=4) the glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and also the liver and plasma malondaldehyde levels. Moreover, the SCFP slightly increased the reduced glutathione levels in the liver.

Conclusion: The SCFP could be used to control the blood pressure of hypertensive subjects for a long period of time and could improve metabolic complications associated to cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: angiotensin-converting enzyme; antioxidant properties; blood pressure; fiber; spontaneously hypertensive rats

(Published: 20 May 2016)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2016, 60: 29418 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v60.29418


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How to Cite
Fernández-Vallinas S., Miguel M., & Aleixandre A. (2016). Long-term antihypertensive effect of a soluble cocoa fiber product in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Food & Nutrition Research, 60. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v60.29418
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