Cranberry-derived proanthocyanidins improve grip strength and balance in a dyslipidemic rodent model

NutritionExerciseChronic disease
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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality worldwide and can be quite debilitating on functional capacity (FC) (Beverly and Budoff, 2020). FC reflects one's ability to perform activities of daily living and integrates health of the pulmonary, cardiovascular, and skeletal muscle systems (Arena et al, 2007). Lifestyle factors, such as modifying one's diet and exercise, are powerful tools used to improve FC in patients with cardiovascular disease (Tang and Hazen, 2014). The aim of this research project was to investigate the effect of A-type proanthocyanidins (PAC-1), a type of polyphenol, extracted from cranberries on measures of functional capacity in a dyslipidemic rodent model. ApoE -/- mice aged 12-16 weeks were used and randomly assigned to the control group (CON) or exposure group (EXP). All mice were fed the same high-fat diet, with the EXP group's diet enriched with PAC-1 (0.035 mg PAC-1/day). Baseline scores were obtained; then, animals were fed their respective diets for 4 weeks and were tested at weeks 2 and 4. Four tests were performed to measure FC: (1) Rotarod test for balance and motor coordination; (2) wire hang test for grip strength; (3) climbing test for dynamic muscular endurance; (4) treadmill test for aerobic endurance. Since the data were collected at three time points, we performed a repeated-measures ANOVA using IBM's SPSS version 27. P<0.05 was considered significant. We observed an increase of 40 on the Rotarod from baseline for the EXP group, whereas CON showed a decrease of 29 (p=0.03). The EXP group also improved by 50 on the wire hang test while CON did 24 worse compared to baseline (p=0.03). No significant changes were observed for the treadmill and climbing tests. PAC-1 supplementation over four weeks showed significant improvements on grip strength and motor control, two main components of FC. These results could be clinically meaningful and we plan on investigating these effects in humans in the near future.


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