Nature Products and Cardiovascular Disorders
- Pp. 3-91 (89)Dingguo Zhang, Liansheng Wang and Zhijian Yang
Cardiovascular disease describes a wide range of heart and blood vessel diseases and includes conditions such as congenial heart defects, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and more. Cardiovascular disease is the number 1 killer of men and women in the United States and in other countries as well. Natural products play an important role as nutritional supplements and provide potential health benefits in cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, arrhythmias, and heart failure. Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the world’s oldest forms of medicine, with a history of more than 2,500 years. Chinese herbs and basic principles regarding Chinese traditional medicine such as “yin and yang” balance as well as disease were interpreted in this chapter. Compiling data from experimental, epidemiological and clinical studies indicates that dietary nutrients have profound cardioprotective effects in the primary as well as secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. The mechanism of cardioprotection produced by herbs and dietary nutritional supplements such as tea, omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids (fish oil and fish-based products), and garlic in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders have been discussed in this chapter, with the emphasis of epidemiological and clinical studies. Based on the intriguing results of various studies, prophylactic and therapeutic potential of natural products have been suggested. The supplementation of natural products needs to be considered in all populations who have high prevalence of cardiovascular disorders.