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International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021. 22(7).

Berries and their polyphenols as a potential therapy for coronary microvascular dysfunction: a mini-review

Ischemia with no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA) is a common diagnosis with a higher prevalence in women compared to men. Despite the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease and no structural heart disease, INOCA is associated with major adverse cardiovascular outcomes as well a significant contributor to angina and related disability. A major feature of INOCA is coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD), which can be detected by non-invasive imaging and invasive coronary physiology assessments in humans. CMD is associated with epicardial endothelial-dependent and -independent dysfunction, diffuse atherosclerosis, and left-ventricular hypertrophy, all of which lead to insufficient blood flow to the myocardium. Inflammatory and oxidative stress signaling, upregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and adrenergic receptor signaling are major drivers of CMD. Treatment of CMD centers around addressing cardiovascular risk factors; however, there are limited treatment options for those who do not respond to traditional anti-anginal therapies. In this review, we highlight the ability of berry-derived polyphenols to modulate those pathways. The evidence supports the need for future clinical trials to investigate the effectiveness of berries and their polyphenols in the treatment of CMD in INOCA patients.