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Plant polyphenols in prevention of heart disease

August 18, 2012

A review by Ginter & Simko on Polyphenols, a group of chemical substances found in plants, are a key constituents of vegetables and fruit. The Mediteranean diet is rich in these food items prevails and diets rich in these foods are known for a reduced premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

Geographic distinction is not entirely unique to the Mediterranean with Low cardiovascular disease mortality also present in countries with high consumption of plant food and fish, like Scandinavia, Switzerland and Austria.

The metabolic effect of plant polyphenols are related to several biological functions that may have beneficial effect in the prevention of some inflammation-mediated disorders, including CVD.

Naturally occurring dietary polyphenols can directly scavenge free oxygen radicals, adhesion molecules, and growth factor receptor genes. Thus, these polyphenolic compounds have potential therapeutic value as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents in CVD. Polyphenolic components in plant materila reduce the generation of oxidized low density lipoproteins (LDL), induce nitric oxide (NO) production, inhibit platelet aggregation and downregulate expression of proinflammatory mediator.

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