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A pilot study on clinical pharmacokinetics and preclinical pharmacodynamics of (+)-epicatechin on cardiometabolic endpoints


We reported that (-)-epicatechin can stimulate mitochondria biogenesis and improve metabolism. However, preliminary studies indicate that the (+) stereoisomer form may be more potent. We evaluated in a preliminary manner, the pharmacokinetics (PK) and initial safety analysis of (+)-epicatechin ((+)-Epi) in healthy and pre-diabetic subjects. Using a mouse model of diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance, we also evaluated the metabolic effects of (+)-Epi vs. (+)-catechin (Cat) to determine class effects. In the Phase I PK study, subjects were provided a single incremental oral dose of (+)-Epi (10, 30 or 100 mg). For the PD study, subjects were provided a single 30 mg dose per day for 7 days. Blood samples were collected and safety measures were performed. Incremental doses of (+)-Epi increase the half-life of blood metabolites from 1.2-4.9 h. The compound was well tolerated and no adverse effects were reported. Seven day dosing of pre-diabetic subjects led to tendencies for reductions in circulating levels of tumor necrosis factor-α and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, which returned to baseline by 7 days after treatment. In animals, 2 weeks of oral dosing (0.003, 0.01, 0.03, 0.1 and 0.3 mg kg-1 day-1) dose dependently improved metabolism-related endpoints (weight gain, glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, with thresholds as low as 0.01 mg kg-1 day-1). Cat yielded no effects at 0.1 mg kg-1 day-1. Results indicate that (+)-Epi evidences a favorable PK and safety profile. Using a pre-clinical model, the compound positively modulates metabolism, which may link to mitochondrial effects. Effects are not due to general antioxidant actions, as Cat yielded no effects.

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