Dave Gough [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons
It’s no secret that vascular health declines with age. Contributing to this decline is dysfunction of the endothelium, the inner lining of the blood vessels. Normally, a functional endothelium enables coagulation, platelet adhesion and immune activity. However, its dysfunction is associated with reduced anticoagulant properties and an inability of arteries and arterioles to dilate fully, which contribute to the development of various diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. Endothelial dysfunction also reduces exercise capacity with age. Previous studies have suggested that dietary intake of polyphenols (compounds found in fruit- and vegetable-derived foods and beverages, including red wine) lessens the risk of cardiovascular disease and that this effect may be exerted through direct action of polyphenols on endothelial cells.
Lab Anim. (NY) 40, 60 (2011).
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