The scope of this review is to summarize the important roles of vitamin E family members as protective agents in cardiovascular pathologies of different types of disease states and particularly in diabetes, including some of our research results, to illustrate how this recent knowledge is helping to better understand the roles of the vitamin E family in biology, in animals and humans specifically. Cardiovascular disease, a general name for a wide variety of diseases, disorders and conditions, is caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is the worlds largest killer, claiming 17.1 million lives a year. Cardiovascular complications result from multiple parameters including glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity, fibrosis. Obesity and diabetes mellitus are also often linked to cardiovascular disease. In fact, cardiovascular disease is the most life-threatening of the diabetic complications and diabetics are 2- to 4-fold more likely to die of cardiovascular-related causes than non-diabetics. In order to prevent the tendency of cardiovascular disease, primary prevention is needed by modifying risk factors. Several recent studies, besides earlier ones, have reported beneficial effects of therapy with antioxidant agents, including trace elements, vitamins (E and/or C), other antioxidants, against the cardiovascular dysfunction. Hence, the use of peroxisome proliferator – activated receptor-α (PPARα) agonists to reduce fatty acid oxidation, of trace elements such as selenium as antioxidant and other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, contributes to the prevention of these dysfunctions. Moreover, therapy with antioxidants and the above vitamins to prevent or delay the onset and development of cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients and animal models has been investigated although these studies showed inconsistent results.
Keywords: Antioxidants enzymes, oxidative stress, diabetic cardiomyopathy, contractile activity, action potential, Vitamin E, chylomicron particles, Crohn's disease, hyperglycemia, inflammation
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