There is increasing evidence that dietary supplementation, such as L-arginine, anti-oxidant vitamins, soy phytoestrogens, flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids exert vascular protective benefits particularly in terms of restoring endothelial function in cardiovascular disease states. The endothelium has been a major focus over the past 20 years as being a primary site at which dysfunction occurs in association with, and contributing to, vascular pathologies. Such states include mild compromise of the cardiovascular system as observed in smokers, hypercholesterolemics and hypertensives, through to end-point heart failure. This review will focus on the experimental and clinical evidence examining the effect of nutriceuticals on vascular function, in particular endothelium-derived factors, and argues that there is a role for nutriceuticals in the clinical management of the cardiovascular compromised individual.
Keywords: dietary supplementation, nitric oxide, cardiovascular, phytoestrogens, l-arginine, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids
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