Impact of Lifestyles (Diet and Exercise) on Vascular Health: Oxidative Stress and Endothelial Function

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2020 Sep 26:2020:1496462. doi: 10.1155/2020/1496462. eCollection 2020.


Healthy lifestyle and diet are associated with significant reduction in risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Oxidative stress and the imbalance between prooxidants and antioxidants are linked to cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Changes in antioxidant capacity of the body may lead to oxidative stress and vascular dysfunction. Diet is an important source of antioxidants, while exercise offers many health benefits as well. Recent findings have evidenced that diet and physical factors are correlated to oxidative stress. Diet and physical factors have debatable roles in modulating oxidative stress and effects on the endothelium. Since endothelium and oxidative stress play critical roles in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, dietary and physical factors could have significant implications on prevention of the diseases. This review is aimed at summarizing the current knowledge on the impact of diet manipulation and physical factors on endothelium and oxidative stress, focusing on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. We discuss the friend-and-foe role of dietary modification (including different diet styles, calorie restriction, and nutrient supplementation) on endothelium and oxidative stress, as well as the potential benefits and concerns of physical activity and exercise on endothelium and oxidative stress. A fine balance between oxidative stress and antioxidants is important for normal functions in the cells and interfering with this balance may lead to unfavorable effects. Further studies are needed to identify the best diet composition and exercise intensity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / metabolism
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Diet*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type III