Cardiovascular disease and the potential protective role of antioxidants

29 May 2019

Epidemiological studies have shown that in the 20th century, cardiovascular disease was responsible for less than ten percent of all deaths globally. However, recent reports indicate that the trend has changed with studies showing that cardiovascular disease currently accounts for about thirty percent of all deaths in the world. It is generally accepted that smoking, high blood cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, elevated LDL levels, elevated blood pressure, physical inactivity, insulin resistance, obesity and type 2-diabetes are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately these known risk factors do not provide a full explanation for all cases of heart disease. Recent research has identified what is preferentially termed novel risk factors that may assist to identify persons or populations at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. One such novel risk factor is the presence in the body of freeand hydroxyperoxide radicals. It has been reported that free-and hydroxyperoxide radicals have the potential to damage biological compounds and structures such as proteins, membrane lipids, DNA and carbohydrates and that such damage caused by these radicals are said to be involved in the aetiology and pathogenesis of different diseases such as cardiovascular disease. The link between deficiencies of antioxidants and production of free-and hydroxyperoxide radicals has been reported. This review paper reports on cardiovascular disease, its associated risk factors and the potential protective role of antioxidants in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease.