Data from animal and epidemiological studies suggest that dietary flavonoids protect against the development of vascular disease. Despite the focus of attention on the ability of flavonoids to act as antioxidants and to alter endothelial cell eicosanoid production, a vast number of other mechanisms exist through which flavonoids could function to inhibit the development of vascular disease in humans. Reviewed here are six other factors that can influence the development of vascular disease in humans and the potential impact of flavonoids on each: adhesion receptor expression, bacterial replication, carbohydrate-induced AGE (advanced glycation end product) formation, estrogenic effects, proteolytic enzymes, and viral replication. Reviewed data suggest that if the total plasma flavonoid load exceeds a few micromoles per liter in vivo, flavonoids will protect humans against vascular damage that results from the aforementioned causes. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.
- Immune system
- Vascular disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism