Indexed on: 18 Nov '16Published on: 18 Nov '16Published in: Nutrients
(1) Background: Endothelial dysfunction predicts cardiovascular events. Circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) maintain and repair the endothelium regulating its function. Tea flavonoids reduce cardiovascular risk. We investigated the effects of black tea on the number of CACs and on flow-mediated dilation (FMD) before and after an oral fat in hypertensives; (2) Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, controlled, cross-over study, 19 patients were assigned to black tea (150 mg polyphenols) or a placebo twice a day for eight days. Measurements were obtained in a fasted state and after consuming whipping cream, and FMD was measured at baseline and after consumption of the products; (3) Results: Compared with the placebo, black tea ingestion increased functionally active CACs (36 ± 22 vs. 56 ± 21 cells per high-power field; p = 0.006) and FMD (5.0% ± 0.3% vs. 6.6% ± 0.3%, p < 0.0001). Tea further increased FMD 1, 2, 3, and 4 h after consumption, with maximal response 2 h after intake (p < 0.0001). Fat challenge decreased FMD, while tea consumption counteracted FMD impairment (p < 0.0001); (4) Conclusions: We demonstrated the vascular protective properties of black tea by increasing the number of CACs and preventing endothelial dysfunction induced by acute oral fat load in hypertensive patients. Considering that tea is the most consumed beverage after water, our findings are of clinical relevance and interest.