Phytochemical Compounds and Protection from Cardiovascular Diseases: A State of the Art

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:918069. doi: 10.1155/2015/918069. Epub 2015 Oct 4.


Cardiovascular diseases represent a worldwide relevant socioeconomical problem. Cardiovascular disease prevention relies also on lifestyle changes, including dietary habits. The cardioprotective effects of several foods and dietary supplements in both animal models and in humans have been explored. It was found that beneficial effects are mainly dependent on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, also involving modulation of mitochondrial function. Resveratrol is one of the most studied phytochemical compounds and it is provided with several benefits in cardiovascular diseases as well as in other pathological conditions (such as cancer). Other relevant compounds are Brassica oleracea, curcumin, and berberine, and they all exert beneficial effects in several diseases. In the attempt to provide a comprehensive reference tool for both researchers and clinicians, we summarized in the present paper the existing literature on both preclinical and clinical cardioprotective effects of each mentioned phytochemical. We structured the discussion of each compound by analyzing, first, its cellular molecular targets of action, subsequently focusing on results from applications in both ex vivo and in vivo models, finally discussing the relevance of the compound in the context of human diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Phytochemicals*
  • Plant Extracts*
  • Protective Agents*
  • Resveratrol
  • Stilbenes


  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protective Agents
  • Stilbenes
  • Resveratrol