Vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke or myocardial infarction are a significant public health problem worldwide. Attempts to prevent vascular diseases often imply modifications and improvement of causative risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, an unfavorable profile of blood lipids or insulin resistance. In addition to numerous preventive and therapeutic drug regimens, there has been increased focus on identifying dietary compounds that may contribute to cardiovascular health in recent years. Food-derived bioactive peptides represent one such source of health-enhancing components. They can be released during gastrointestinal digestion or food processing from a multitude of plant and animal proteins, especially milk, soy or fish proteins. Biologically active peptides are considered to promote diverse activities, including opiate-like, mineral binding, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antithrombotic, hypocholesterolemic and antihypertensive actions. By modulating and improving physiological functions, bioactive peptides may provide new therapeutic applications for the prevention or treatment of chronic diseases. As components of functional foods or nutraceuticals with certain health claims, bioactive peptides are of commercial interest as well. The current review centers on bioactive peptides with properties relevant to cardiovascular health.
- Bioactive peptides
- Cardiovascular disease