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Atherosclerosis. 2009 Mar;203(1):8-17. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.06.019. Epub 2008 Jul 1.

Nutritional and nutraceutical approaches to dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis prevention: Focus on dietary proteins.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milano, I-20100 Milano, Italy.


A correct lifestyle is crucial in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Innovative nutritional strategies to reduce the main risk factors have been developed including either dietary changes or consumption of specifically targeted functional foods and dietary supplements. These nutraceutical products may also provide an alternative to lipid lowering, antihypertensive, and antidiabetic drugs. Functional foods and beverages have the appearance of normal foods, but contain specific components whose activity on at least one measurable risk factor has been scientifically demonstrated. Dietary supplements, having formulations similar to drugs, allow the delivery of a bioactive ingredient in dosages that exceed those obtainable from food products. Among bioactive components, at present dietary proteins from both vegetable and animal sources are of high interest, because of their specific effects on cholesterolemia and blood pressure. Active peptides have been identified for the latter indication, whereas works is in progress in attempting to identify specific cholesterol lowering peptides.

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