Flavanone-rich citrus beverages counteract the transient decline in postprandial endothelial function in humans: a randomised, controlled, double-masked, cross-over intervention study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Honglin Dong
  • Caroline Saunders
  • Laura Harkness
  • Melvin Blaze
  • Yanpeng Hou
  • Ronald L Belanger
  • Giulia Corona
  • Julie A Lovegrove
  • Jeremy P E Spencer

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • 1Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences,School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy,University of Reading,PO Box 226,Reading RG2 6AP,UK.
  • 2PepsiCo R+D Nutrition,PepsiCo Inc.,Reading RG2 6UW,UK.
  • 3Global R+D Nutrition,PepsiCo Inc.,Valhalla, NY 10595,USA.
  • 4PepsiCo R+D Biological & Discovery Analytics,PepsiCo Inc.,New Haven, CT 06511,USA.


Specific flavonoid-rich foods/beverages are reported to exert positive effects on vascular function; however, data relating to effects in the postprandial state are limited. The present study investigated the postprandial, time-dependent (0-7 h) impact of citrus flavanone intake on vascular function. An acute, randomised, controlled, double-masked, cross-over intervention study was conducted by including middle-aged healthy men (30-65 years, n 28) to assess the impact of flavanone intake (orange juice: 128·9 mg; flavanone-rich orange juice: 272·1 mg; homogenised whole orange: 452·8 mg; isoenergetic control: 0 mg flavanones) on postprandial (double meal delivering a total of 81 g of fat) endothelial function. Endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery at 0, 2, 5 and 7 h. Plasma levels of naringenin/hesperetin metabolites (sulphates and glucuronides) and nitric oxide species were also measured. All flavanone interventions were effective at attenuating transient impairments in FMD induced by the double meal (7 h post intake; P<0·05), but no dose-response effects were observed. The effects on FMD coincided with the peak of naringenin/hesperetin metabolites in circulation (7 h) and sustained levels of plasma nitrite. In summary, citrus flavanones are effective at counteracting the negative impact of a sequential double meal on human vascular function, potentially through the actions of flavanone metabolites on nitric oxide.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1999-2010
Number of pages12
JournalThe British journal of nutrition
Issue number12
Early online date9 Jan 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jan 2017


  • Adult, Biomarkers, Brachial Artery, Breakfast, Cardiovascular Diseases, Citrus, Cross-Over Studies, Diet, High-Fat, Dilatation, Pathologic, Double-Blind Method, Endothelium, Vascular, England, Flavanones, Fruit and Vegetable Juices, Humans, Lunch, Male, Middle Aged, Nitric Oxide, Patient Dropouts, Postprandial Period, Risk, Ultrasonography, Clinical Trial, Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial