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Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2005 Jan;3(1):159-71.

Free radicals and antioxidants in cardiovascular diseases.

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University of Naples Federico II, Department of General and Environmental Physiology, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Naples, Italy.


It has been demonstrated that redox homeostasis is important in the pathophysiology of several human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. In this respect, genetic polymorphism, nutritional and environmental factors, age, lifestyle and physical activity may account for variable antioxidant defenses, which may be more or less effective at counteracting oxidative damage. Since accumulating oxidative damage may be associated with several pathologic conditions, including different cardiovascular diseases, prevention of oxidative stress appears to be a promising approach to improve such diseases. Exercise training, diets rich in antioxidants and a good control of blood glucose and lipid levels help to strengthen the physiologic antioxidant defense system, perhaps coupled to drugs capable of increasing the nitric oxide bioavailability and decreasing superoxide production. Within the next few years other therapeutic approaches will be available, such as gene therapy, which will prove to be even more effective but devoid of several important systemic side effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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