Background: Inflammation-induced endothelial abnormalities, dietary habits, and tobacco smoking are considered to be the primary risk factors for causing atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs), including Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disorders, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart defects, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Prevention of CVDs with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents has been a challenging task for decades. Currently, CVDs have taken a top position among the health-related issues and are considered the foremost cause of mortality and morbidity around the globe.
Objective: Emerging evidence from several sources indicates that nutraceuticals and plant products may be a cost-effective approach for the prevention of CVDs. A limited number of clinical studies done with nutraceuticals have shown positive effects for promoting health and well-being as well as reduction of CVDs in humans. Some plants from which nutraceutical ingredients are isolated and will be discussed in this review are: Murraya koenigii, Curcuma longa, Beta vulgaris, Allium sativum, Allium cepa, Lagenaria siceraria Stand, Trigonella foenum-graecum.
Methods: Literature searches were done using keywords for plants, nutraceuticals, and plant products that have revealed beneficial effects in the prevention of CVDs. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions of nutraceuticeuticals and plant ingredients play a significant role in capturing free radicals and reducing endothelial risk factors associated with the occurrence CVDs.
Results: This review has explored the usefulness of animal studies performed with nutraceuticals and herbal products and to understand their mode of action in the prevention of CVDs. Also, we have referred to patents for different nutraceuticals for better understanding their quantitative effects and dosage forms.
Conclusion: It is concluded that nutraceuticals possess enormous health benefits and their interventions can be highly beneficial in the prevention/reduction of CVDs and related disorders such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, heart attack and stroke. The findings of this review provide an update on the emerging uses of nutraceuticals, functional foods, and herbal remedies in humans. Nevertheless, large-scale randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trials are needed to confirm the health benefit claims about nutraceuticals and herbal products to establish their long-term safety and to resolve the controversy about the role of clinical nutrition in curing lifestyle diseases.
Keywords: Allium cepa, Allium sativum, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidant, Beta vulgaris, cardiovascular diseases, Curcuma longa, herbal product, Lagenaria siceraria, Murraya koenigii, nutraceutical, Trigonella foenum-graecum.