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Review Article

Polyphenols Regulate Endothelial Functions and Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

[ Vol. 25 , Issue. 22 ]


Kazuo Yamagata*   Pages 2443 - 2458 ( 16 )


Background: Previous studies have shown that intake of polyphenols through the consumption of vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) by potentially influencing endothelial cell function.

Objective: In this review, the effects and molecular mechanisms of plant polyphenols, particularly resveratrol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and quercetin, on endothelial functions, and their putative protective effects against CVD are described.

Methods: Epidemiologic studies examined the effect of the CVD risk of vegetables and the fruit. Furthermore, studies within vitro models investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of the action of the flavonoid class of polyphenols. These findings help elucidate the effect of polyphenols on endothelial function and CVD risk reduction.

Results: Epidemiologic and in vitro studies have demonstrated that the consumption of vegetables and fruits decreases the incidence of CVDs. Furthermore, it has also been indicated that dietary polyphenols are inversely related to the risk of CVD. Resveratrol, EGCG, and quercetin prevent oxidative stress by regulating the expression of oxidase and the antioxidant enzyme genes, contributing to the prevention of stroke, hypertension, heart failure, and ischemic heart disease.

Conclusion: High intake of dietary polyphenols may help prevent CVD. Polyphenols inhibit endothelial dysfunction and induce vascular endothelium-dependent vascular relaxation viz. redox regulation and nitric oxide production. The polyphenol-induced healthy endothelial cell function may be related to CVD prevention.


Cardiovascular disease, epigallocatechin gallate, endothelial cells, reactive oxygen species, polyphenols, quercetin, resveratrol.


Laboratory of Molecular Health Science of Food, Department of Food Science & Technology, Nihon University (NUBS), 1866 Kameino, Fujisawa, Kanagawa, 252-8510

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