Carotenoids pp 287-300 | Cite as

Carotenoids and Coronary Heart Disease

  • Elizabeth J. Johnson
  • Norman I. Krinsky
Part of the Carotenoids book series (CAROT, volume 5)


Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a disease of the heart caused by atherosclerotic narrowing of the coronary arteries and is likely to produce angina pectoris (chest pain). In atherosclerosis, commonly called hardening of the arteries, the artery walls become thick and lose elasticity. Because of their ability to act as antioxidants (see Chapter 12), it has been proposed that carotenoids could be protective against CHD. One factor in the development of coronary vascular disease is the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). When LDL is oxidized it is readily taken up by foam cells in the vascular endothelium where it contributes to the development of atherosclerotic lesions [1, 2]. The facts that LDL is a major transporter of β-carotene (3) and lycopene (31) in the circulation [3] and that these carotenoids have the capacity to trap peroxyl radicals and quench singlet oxygen lend support to the hypothesis that the carotenoids may have a protective role.


Coronary Heart Disease Acute Myocardial Infarction Acute Myocardial Infarction Plasma Carotenoid Serum Carotenoid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth J. Johnson
    • 1
  • Norman I. Krinsky
    • 2
  1. 1.Carotenoids and Health Laboratory Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Center on AgingTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging Department of Biochemistry School of MedicineTufts UniversityBostonUSA

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