Flavonoids and cardiovascular disease

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Abstract

Diets high in flavonoids have long been associated with nutritional recommendations, a healthy lifestyle, and the prevention of chronic diseases. However, identification of specific beneficial effects from specific flavonoids and flavonoid-rich foods has been a challenging area, probably due to a nonessential or conditional role for flavonoids in human nutrition. Nonetheless, recent efforts in the area of high flavonoid-containing foods and cardiovascular disease have begun providing the first demonstrations of specific effects and mechanisms of action in well-controlled studies. The early studies have shown that flavonoids have several anti-atherosclerotic activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-proliferative, antiplatelet, and provessel function activities. Cholesterol-lowering and antihypertensive effects of flavonoids have been studied and appear minimal in humans. The studies also demonstrate several possible mechanisms and pleiotropic effects of flavonoids that may be active in reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Several subclasses of flavonoids may contribute toward the apparent beneficial effects and include flavones, flavonols, flavanones, catechins isoflavones, proanthocyanidins, and anthocyanidins. Further studies are necessary for confirmation of the beneficial effects, identification of dose-response relationships, and identification the most bioactive flavonoids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalPharmaceutical Biology
Volume42
Issue numberSUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

Keywords

  • Anti-inflammation
  • Antioxidant
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Bioactivity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cell proliferation
  • Flavonoids
  • Platelets
  • Vessel function

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