Diet and Nutrition to Prevent and Treat Cardiovascular Diseases

  • Hiroshi MasudaEmail author


In this chapter, the effects of nutrients on the human cardiovascular system and the molecular mechanisms of their protective effects are summarized. The etiology and pathomechanisms of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are complex with numerous of gene-environment interaction. Importantly, coronary heart disease (CHD) is the most prevalent cause; about 60 % is attributed to dietary patterns. Numerous epidemiologic studies demonstrated the necessity to reduce total calories, the consumption of high glycemic index (GI) foods, sodium, saturated fats, and trans-fats and to increase the consumption of dietary fiber, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Major cardioprotective mechanisms of nutrients are classified as follows: (1) activating sirtuins (caloric restriction), (2) ameliorating serum lipid profiles (MUFA, n-3 PUFA, carotenoids, dietary fiber), (3) decreasing insulin resistances (MUFA, low GI diet), (4) anti-inflammatory effects (n-3 PUFA, n-6 PUFA, niacin, vitamin D, low GI diet), (5) antioxidants (niacin, vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, low GI diet), (6) antithrombogenic actions (MUFA, n-3 PUFA, niacin, vitamin D, vitamin E), (7) improving vascular functions (n-3 PUFA, n-6 PUFA, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E), (8) antiarrhythmic actions (n-3 PUFA), and (9) lowering homocysteine levels (B vitamins). Although changes in the quality of food is as important as restricting calorie intake, more information is needed to clarify the relation between the intake of defined nutrients and the risk of heart diseases.


Cardiovascular disease Caloric restriction Dietary sodium Saturated fatty acid Monounsaturated fatty acid n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid Trans-fatty acid B vitamins Vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Carotenoid Carbohydrate Dietary fiber 


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineNishinomiya Kaisei HospitalNishinomiyaJapan

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