Heart disease Flavonoids Nutraceuticals Notes
Worldwide, the burdens of chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and obesity is rapidly increasing. Chronic diseases contributed approximately 59% of the 56.5 million total reported deaths in the world and 46% of the global burden of disease. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the name for the group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and includes hypertension (high blood pressure),
coronary heart disease (heart attack), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, etc
This apart, nutraceuticals in the form of antioxidants, dietary fibres, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), vitamins, and minerals are recommended together with physical exercise for the prevention
and treatment of CVD.
It has been demonstrated that the molecules like polyphenols present in grapes and in wine alter cellular metabolism and signalling, which is consistent with reducing arterial disease
Flavonoids are widely distributed in onion, endives, cruciferous vegetables, black grapes, red wine, grapefruits, apples, cherries and berries.
Flavanoids in plants are available as flavones (containing the flavonoid apigenin found in chamomile); flavanones (hesperidins -citrus fruits; silybin- milk thistle flavonols (tea: quercetin, kaempferol and rutin grapefruit; rutinbuckwheat; ginkgo flavon glycosides – ginkgo) play a major role in curing the
Flavonoids block the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) that raises blood pressure; by blocking the
“suicide” enzyme cyclooxygenase that breaks down prostaglandins, prevents platelet stickiness and hence platelet aggregation.
Flavonoids also protect the vascular system and strengthen the tiny capillaries that carry oxygen and essential nutrients to all cells. Flavonoids block the enzymes that produce estrogens, thus reducing the risk of estrogen-induced cancers.