Due to its poor regenerative capacity, the heart is specifically vulnerable to xenobiotic-
induced cardiotoxicity, myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion injury and other pathologies. Nuclear
factor erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is considered as an essential factor in protecting cardiomyocytes
against oxidative stress resulting from free radicals and reactive oxygen species. It also
serves as a key regulator of antioxidant enzyme expression via the antioxidant response element,
a cis-regulatory element, which is found in the promoter region of several genes encoding detoxification
enzymes and cytoprotective proteins. It has been reported that a variety of natural products
are capable of activating Nrf2 expression, and in this way, increase the antioxidant potential of cardiomyocytes.
In the present review, we consider the cardioprotective activities of natural products
and their possible therapeutic potential.