Background: Cadmium is a worldwide spread toxicant that accumulates in tissues and affects many
organs, mainly through oxidative damage. Oxidative stress is often associated with cardiovascular diseases and,
when it affects vessels, it induces endothelial dysfunction, which, in turn, could precipitate atherosclerosis and
hypertension. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest antioxidant supplementation as a therapy against cadmiuminduced
Objective: This literature review aims to present the mechanisms involving oxidative stress in which cadmium
induces endothelial dysfunction and the benefits of antioxidant supplementation as a therapeutic strategy against
its harmful effects.
Methods: On PubMed Central, articles that contemplated studies on cadmium intoxication and associated oxidative
stress with endothelial dysfunction as well as articles that reported the use of antioxidant supplementation in
an attempt to prevent or avoid endothelial dysfunction induced by cadmium exposure were selected.
Results: Most of the studies that associated cadmium intoxication with endothelial dysfunction suggested oxidative
stress as the major mechanism for this damage. Furthermore, experimental studies also revealed that the
administration of substances with antioxidant properties, such as ascorbic acid and curcumin, has beneficial effects
on the prevention of such dysfunction, reducing reactive oxygen species within the vessels, preventing a
reduction in the amount of glutathione and the increase in blood pressure observed in animals exposed to cadmium.
Conclusion: Antioxidant therapy demonstrated to be a potential treatment to reduce cardiovascular injuries provoked
by cadmium, but more studies are needed to determine the best antioxidant substance and dose to treat or
avoid this complication.