The powerful story against cardiovascular diseases: Dietary factors


FOOD REVIEWS INTERNATIONAL, vol.34, no.8, pp.713-745, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/87559129.2017.1410172
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.713-745
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Cardiovascular diseases are the underlying cause of most deaths worldwide, and they are expected to rise in the following years. Cardiovascular diseases include diseases that affect the heart, cerebral, and peripheral vessels, resulting in ischemia. On the basis of cardiovascular disease pathophysiology, there are lipoprotein metabolism abnormalities, oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, endothelium damage, and atherothrombosis. Modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular health and diseases are blood pressure, blood lipid profile, oxidative stress, inflammation, and other factors (smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus). Atherosclerotic plaque development, vascular calcification, and vascular stiffness are caused by a long-term endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory response, which can be prevented and controlled by the diet. Fat and cholesterol are the commonly considered dietary factors in the association of the nutrition and the cardiovascular disease, although other macronutrients, especially carbohydrates and proteins, also have major effects. Nowadays, other macronutrients and micronutrients (minerals and vitamins) have roles in regulating the indicated processes (blood pressure, calcification, oxidative stress, inflammation, etc.) in cardiovascular disease prognosis. Other dietary compounds (sterols, stanols, polyphenols, carotenoids, etc.) that exist in small amounts in foods might have a role in regulating these mechanisms as well. There are also new insights about walnuts, garlic, ginger, and hawthorn as parts of a healthy diet against cardiovascular diseases. So far, there have not appeared any reviews that combine the impact of a wide variety of dietary components on cardiovascular diseases. Thus, the novel nutritional targets and interventions that focus on nutrients and other dietary compounds on potential mechanisms underlying cardiovascular diseases are discussed in this review.