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Food and plant bioactives for reducing cardiometabolic disease risk: an evidence based approach.


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are one of the major causes of mortality and disability in Western countries. Prevention is known to be the cornerstone to lessen the incidence of CVDs and also to reduce the economic burden of both the citizen and the healthcare system. The “interventional medicine” certainly puts the lifestyle modification as first therapeutic step, including healthy diet and physical activity. Secondly, a large body of research individuated a number of food and plant bioactives which are potentially efficacious in preventing and reducing some highly prevalent CV risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, vascular inflammation and vascular compliance. Some lipid- and blood pressure-lowering bioactives were studied for their impact on human vascular health, particularly as regards endothelial function and arterial stiffness. Several nutraceuticals showed additive or synergistic properties in combination, sometimes (but not always) allowing a reduction of the administered dose of extracts and determining a “multi-factorial” final effect on many cardiovascular risk factors. Thus, this review focuses on the available evidence regarding the effects of berberine, plant sterols, green tea extract, soy, curcumin, cocoa, pycnogenol, lycopene, olive oil, soluble fibers, garlic, resveratrol, beetroot, mineral salts and vitamins on lipid profile, blood pressure, inflammatory and endothelial markers, and vascular compliance. Future clinical researches will have to focus more on middle term modification of instrumental markers of vascular aging than on short-term effects on indirect laboratory risk markers.

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Feb 2017, accepted on 03 May 2017 and first published on 05 May 2017

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7FO00178A
Citation: Food Funct., 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Food and plant bioactives for reducing cardiometabolic disease risk: an evidence based approach.

    A. Cicero, F. Fogacci and A. Colletti, Food Funct., 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7FO00178A

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