In this Clinical Minute, Dr. Annalouise O’Connor discusses endothelial function and the key ingredients for optimal endothelial function, arginine, citrulline, and cocoa polyphenols. Endothelial dysfunction is an early driver of atherosclerosis and poor vascular function.
Cocoa polyphenols are a particularly important nutrient to promote endothelial function, blood flow, and optimal cardiovascular health. Cocoa polyphenols, arginine, and citrulline are important to optimize the nitric oxidide synthesis pathway in the body, which is critical for endothelial function. They act as substrates for nitric oxide.
Risk factors for endothelial dysfunction include advanced age, high blood glucose, oxidative stress, and inflammation. Diagnosis of endothelial dysfunction can be done by testing blood-based markers like ADMA, or by conducting in-office diagnostics such as testing the ability of the blood vessel to react.