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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018 Jul 3;58(10):1688-1705. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1279121. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

The effects of food essential oils on cardiovascular diseases: A review.

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a Nutritional Science Department , Varastegan Institute for Medical Sciences , Mashhad , Iran.
b Department of Food Technology and Bioprocess Engineering , Max Rubner-Institut, Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food , Karlsruhe , Germany.
c Burn and Wound Healing Research Center, Division of Food and Nutrition , Shiraz University of Medical Sciences , Shiraz , Iran.
d Department of Food Science , University of Otago , Dunedin , New Zealand.
e Young Researchers and Elite Club , Sabzevar Branch, Islamic Azad University , Sabzevar , Iran.
f Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Engineering (FEA) , University of Campinas (UNICAMP) , Campinas , SP , Brazil.


Essential oils (EO) are complex secondary metabolites, which are produced by aromatic plants and identified by their powerful odors. Present studies on EO and their isolated ingredients have drawn the attention of researchers to screen these natural products and evaluate their effect on the cardiovascular system. Some EO, and their active ingredients, have been reported to improve the cardiovascular system significantly by affecting vaso-relaxation, and decreasing the heart rate and exert a hypotension activity. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the role of EO and their main active components in promoting the health of the cardiovascular system. The objective of this review is to highlight the current state of knowledge on the functional role of EO extracted from plants for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and their mechanisms of action. Research on EO has the potential to identify new bioactive compounds and formulate new functional products for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as arterial hypertension, angina pectoris, heart failure, and myocardial infarction.


Essential oils; atherosclerosis; cardiovascular diseases; hypertension; vasoconstriction; vasodilation

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