English
Albanian
Arabic
Armenian
Azerbaijani
Belarusian
Bengali
Bosnian
Catalan
Czech
Danish
Deutsch
Dutch
English
Estonian
Finnish
Français
Greek
Haitian Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Mongolian
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Spanish
Swahili
Swedish
Turkish
Ukrainian
Vietnamese
Български
中文(简体)
中文(繁體)
Food and Function 2020-Jul

The effects of betalain-rich cacti (dragon fruit and cactus pear) on endothelial and vascular function: a systematic review of animal and human studies

Only registered users can translate articles
Log In/Sign up
The link is saved to the clipboard
Alex Cheok
Trevor George
Ana Rodriguez-Mateos
Paul Caton

Keywords

Abstract

Dragon fruit (Hylocereus) and cactus pear (Opuntia) are cacti species that have been widely used globally as a reliable source of food as well as traditional folk remedies. They have become of scientific interest recently due to their high levels of bioactive phytochemical compounds, in particular betalains. Earlier systematic reviews have explored the impact of supplementation of these cactus species on obesity, type-2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk factors: body weight and composition, serum triglycerides, cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure. However, effects on vascular health and endothelial function have yet to be reviewed. In order to address this gap in the literature, a systematic review has been conducted to evaluate the physiological effects of Hylocereus and Opuntia cacti on endothelial and vascular function in in vivo animal models and human studies. An electronic search was performed in the following databases: PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE (via Ovid), CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science®, and The Cochrane Library (CENTRAL). All journals were searched since inceptions up to January 2020 without language restriction. Outcomes of interest were blood pressure, arterial stiffness, vascular reactivity and biochemical markers of endothelial dysfunction. Two investigators independently performed the study selection and data extraction. From 394 references, only 16 studies (9 animal and 7 human) fulfilled the eligibility criteria. Animal studies suggested a potential increase in vasodilation and serum nitric oxide and a reduction in vascular stiffness and blood pressure. The small number of human studies showed a reduction in heart rate as well as an increase in heart rate variability. Although these findings appear to indicate improvement in vascular health, there is a severe lack of robust, randomised human intervention studies to identify underlying mechanisms, optimal dose and long-term effects of cacti consumption.

Join our facebook page

The most complete medicinal herbs database backed by science

  • Works in 55 languages
  • Herbal cures backed by science
  • Herbs recognition by image
  • Interactive GPS map - tag herbs on location (coming soon)
  • Read scientific publications related to your search
  • Search medicinal herbs by their effects
  • Organize your interests and stay up do date with the news research, clinical trials and patents

Type a symptom or a disease and read about herbs that might help, type a herb and see diseases and symptoms it is used against.
*All information is based on published scientific research

Google Play badgeApp Store badge