Effects of safflower seed extract on arterial stiffness
Katsuya Suzuki1, Shigekazu Tsubaki2, Masami Fujita3, Naoto Koyama1, Michio Takahashi1, Kenji Takazawa4
1Research Institute for Health Fundamentals, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Kawasaki; 2Samoncho Clinic, Tokyo; 3Shinanozaka Clinic, Tokyo; 4Tokyo Medical University Hachioji Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan
Abstract: Safflower seed extract (SSE) contains characteristic polyphenols and serotonin derivatives (N-(p-coumaroyl) serotonin and N-feruloylserotonin), which are reported to inhibit oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), formation of atherosclerotic plaques, and improve arterial stiffness as assessed by pulse wave analysis in animal models. The effects of long-term supplementation with SSE on arterial stiffness in human subjects were evaluated. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in 77 males (35–65 years) and 15 postmenopausal females (55–65 years) with high-normal blood pressure or mild hypertension who were not undergoing treatment. Subjects received SSE (70 mg/day as serotonin derivatives) or placebo for 12 weeks, and pulse wave measurements, ie, second derivative of photoplethysmogram (SDPTG), augmentation index, and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) were conducted at baseline, and at weeks 4, 8, and 12. Vascular age estimated by SDPTG aging index improved in the SSE-supplemented group when compared with the placebo group at four (P = 0.0368) and 12 weeks (P = 0.0927). The trend of augmentation index reduction (P = 0.072 versus baseline) was observed in the SSE-supplemented group, but reduction of baPWV by SSE supplementation was not observed. The SSE-supplemented group also showed a trend towards a lower malondialdehyde-modified-LDL autoantibody titer at 12 weeks from baseline. These results suggest long-term ingestion of SSE in humans could help to improve arterial stiffness.
Keywords: safflower, serotonin derivatives, antioxidants, augmentation index, pulse wave velocity
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