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Health Benefits of Bioactive Natural Constituents — Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Phytochemicals and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 May 2024) | Viewed by 15746

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Olsztyn WM, Poland
Interests: relationship between biologically active compounds and health status; nutritional interventions in reducing cardiovascular disorders; methods related to the analysis of inflammatory and antioxidant parameters; preparing and conducting nutritional experiments on rats (hypertensive, obese, and aged rats)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Preparations exerting both antioxidant and anticoagulant activities based on safe natural substances are continuously sought after for their potentially wide range of health benefits in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders.

Natural bioactive substances with both antioxidative and hypo-cholesterolemic properties have been found to be effective in preventing the formation and/or progression of atherosclerosis.

Oxidative stress associated with the presence of an excess of pro-oxidants, including free radicals, can cause the oxidative modification of lipids and proteins in the components of the hemostatic system (blood plasma and platelets) and can increase its reactivity (increased clotting). Such changes in vascular hemostasis contribute to various pathological conditions of the cardiovascular system, such as thrombosis and atherosclerosis.

Dr. Michal Majewski
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • cardiovascular disorders
  • endothelial dysfunction
  • metabolic syndrome
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • dyslipidemia
  • inflammation
  • oxidative stress
  • prostaglandins
  • gas mediators
  • thromboxane
  • anticoagulants

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 2508 KiB  
Article
The Interaction of Dietary Pectin, Inulin, and Psyllium with Copper Nanoparticle Induced Changes to the Cardiovascular System
by Michał Majewski, Leszek Gromadziński, Ewelina Cholewińska, Katarzyna Ognik, Bartosz Fotschki and Jerzy Juśkiewicz
Nutrients 2023, 15(16), 3557; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15163557 - 11 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
We aimed to analyze how supplementation with a standard (recommended, 6.5 mg/kg) or enhanced (two-times higher, 13 mg/kg) dose of copper (Cu), in the form of nanoparticles (NPs) along with dietary intervention via the implementation of diverse types of fiber, affects the cardiovascular [...] Read more.
We aimed to analyze how supplementation with a standard (recommended, 6.5 mg/kg) or enhanced (two-times higher, 13 mg/kg) dose of copper (Cu), in the form of nanoparticles (NPs) along with dietary intervention via the implementation of diverse types of fiber, affects the cardiovascular system in rats. Nine-week-old male Wistar Han rats (n/group = 10) received, for an additional 6 weeks, a controlled diet with cellulose as dietary fiber and ionic Cu (in the form of carbonate salt). The experimental groups received cellulose, pectin, inulin, and psyllium as dietary fiber, together with CuNPs (6.5 or 13 mg/kg diet). After the experimental feeding, samples of blood, hearts, and thoracic arteries were collected for further analysis. Compared to pectin, and under a standard dose of CuNPs, inulin and psyllium beneficially increased the antioxidant capacity of lipid- and water-soluble compounds in the blood, and decreased heart malondialdehyde. Moreover, pectin decreased heart catalase (CAT) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 in the aortic rings compared to inulin and psyllium under standard and enhanced doses of copper. When the dose of CuNPs was enhanced, inulin and psyllium potentiated vasodilation to acetylcholine by up-regulation of COX-2-derived vasodilator prostanoids compared to both cellulose and pectin, and this was modulated with selective inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor for psyllium only. Moreover, inulin decreased heart CAT compared to psyllium. Our results suggest that supplementation with dietary fiber may protect the vascular system against potentially harmful metal NPs by modulating the antioxidant mechanisms. Full article
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20 pages, 3160 KiB  
Article
New Aspect of Composition and Biological Properties of Glechoma hederacea L. Herb: Detailed Phytochemical Analysis and Evaluation of Antioxidant, Anticoagulant Activity and Toxicity in Selected Human Cells and Plasma In Vitro
by Natalia Sławińska, Magdalena Kluska, Barbara Moniuszko-Szajwaj, Anna Stochmal, Katarzyna Woźniak and Beata Olas
Nutrients 2023, 15(7), 1671; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15071671 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1573
Abstract
It is known that phenolic compounds can alleviate the negative impact of oxidative stress and modulate hemostasis. However, the effect of extracts and phenolics from Glechoma hederacea L. on the biomarkers of these processes is not well documented. The aim of our study [...] Read more.
It is known that phenolic compounds can alleviate the negative impact of oxidative stress and modulate hemostasis. However, the effect of extracts and phenolics from Glechoma hederacea L. on the biomarkers of these processes is not well documented. The aim of our study was to investigate the in vitro protective effects of one extract and three fractions (20, 60, and 85% fraction) from G. hederacea L. on oxidative stress and hemostasis. Phytochemical analysis showed that aerial parts of G. hederacea L. are rich in both phenolic acids (such as rosmarinic acid, neochlorogenic acid, and chlorogenic acid) and flavonoids (mainly rutin and glycoside derivatives of apigenin, quercetin, and luteolin). We observed that the 85% fraction (at three concentrations: 5, 10, and 50 μg/mL) inhibited protein carbonylation. Moreover, the extract and 85% fraction (at the concentration of 50 μg/mL) could reduce lipid peroxidation. All fractions and the extract were very effective at decreasing H2O2-induced DNA damage in PBM cells. The 85% fraction had the strongest protective potential against DNA oxidative damage. We also observed that the extract and fractions decreased PBM cell viability to a maximum of 65% after 24 h incubation. Our results indicate that the 85% fraction showed the strongest antioxidant potential. The main component of the 85% fraction was apigenin (26.17 ± 1.44 mg/g), which is most likely responsible for its strong antioxidant properties. Full article
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16 pages, 3224 KiB  
Article
Ursolic Acid Ameliorates Myocardial Ischaemia/Reperfusion Injury by Improving Mitochondrial Function via Immunoproteasome-PP2A-AMPK Signalling
by Luo-Luo Xu, Hui-Xiang Su, Pang-Bo Li and Hui-Hua Li
Nutrients 2023, 15(4), 1049; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15041049 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2377
Abstract
Cardiac ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury causes cardiomyocyte apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction. Ursolic acid (UA), as a pentacyclic triterpenoid carboxylic acid, exerts several bioactivities in animal models of different diseases, but the preventive role of UA in I/R-induced myocardial dysfunction remains largely unknown. Male wild-type [...] Read more.
Cardiac ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury causes cardiomyocyte apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction. Ursolic acid (UA), as a pentacyclic triterpenoid carboxylic acid, exerts several bioactivities in animal models of different diseases, but the preventive role of UA in I/R-induced myocardial dysfunction remains largely unknown. Male wild-type mice were pre-administered with UA at a dosage of 80 mg/kg i.p. and then subjected to cardiac I/R injury for 24 h. Cardiac function and pathological changes were examined by echocardiography and histological staining. The protein and mRNA levels of the genes were determined using qPCR and immunoblotting analysis. Our results revealed that UA administration in mice significantly attenuated the I/R-induced decline in cardiac function, infarct size, myocyte apoptosis, and oxidative stress. Mechanistically, UA increased three immunoproteasome catalytic subunit expressions and activities, which promoted ubiquitinated PP2A degradation and activated AMPK-PGC1α signalling, leading to improved mitochondrial biosynthesis and dynamic balance. In vitro experiments confirmed that UA treatment prevented hypoxia/reperfusion (H/R)-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction through activation of AMPK signalling. In summary, our findings identify UA as a new activator of the immunoproteasome that exerts a protective role in I/R-induced myocardial dysfunction and suggest that UA supplementation could be beneficial for the prevention of cardiac ischaemic disease. Full article
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13 pages, 1858 KiB  
Article
Extract from Sea Buckthorn Seeds—A Phytochemical, Antioxidant, and Hemostasis Study; Effect of Thermal Processing on Its Chemical Content and Biological Activity In Vitro
by Natalia Sławińska, Jerzy Żuchowski, Anna Stochmal and Beata Olas
Nutrients 2023, 15(3), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15030686 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2612
Abstract
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is a small tree, valued for its medicinal properties throughout the ages. Sea buckthorn berries and leaves are a known source of phytochemicals and have been used in the treatment of inflammation, oedema, hypertension, ulcers, and wounds [...] Read more.
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is a small tree, valued for its medicinal properties throughout the ages. Sea buckthorn berries and leaves are a known source of phytochemicals and have been used in the treatment of inflammation, oedema, hypertension, ulcers, and wounds in folk medicine. Sea buckthorn seeds are natural dietary sources of various bioactive compounds as well, but the number of studies on their content and biological properties is still insufficient. For the first time, we examined the phytochemical content and biological activity of sea buckthorn seeds in vitro. We have studied the effect of two extracts—from regular (no thermal processing) and roasted (thermally processed) sea buckthorn seeds—on the levels of oxidative stress induced by H2O2/Fe2+ in plasma, coagulation times, and white thrombus formation (measured by Total Thrombus-formation Analysis System—T-TAS). We observed that sea buckthorn seeds contain diverse flavonoids, mostly glycosides of isorhamnetin, kaempferol, and quercetin, as well as smaller amounts of proanthocyanidins and catechin, triterpenoid saponins, and a number of unidentified polar and hydrophobic compounds. Both extracts inhibited lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation, but only the extract from roasted seeds decreased oxidation of thiol groups in plasma treated with H2O2/Fe2+. They did not alter coagulation times, but the extract from roasted seeds at the highest concentration (50 µg/mL) prolonged the time needed for white thrombus formation. The results indicate that sea buckthorn seeds have antioxidant activity that is not impaired by thermal processing and possess anticoagulant potential, but more research is needed in order to ascertain which compounds are responsible for these effects, especially in in vivo models. Full article
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20 pages, 3771 KiB  
Article
Dietary Effects of Chromium Picolinate and Chromium Nanoparticles in Wistar Rats Fed with a High-Fat, Low-Fiber Diet: The Role of Fat Normalization
by Michał Majewski, Leszek Gromadziński, Ewelina Cholewińska, Katarzyna Ognik, Bartosz Fotschki and Jerzy Juśkiewicz
Nutrients 2022, 14(23), 5138; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14235138 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
We aimed to evaluate how feeding a high-fat–low-fiber (F) diet to rats and dietary intervention with the implementation of a standard-fat-and-fiber (S) diet affects the response of the cardiovascular system to chromium (III) picolinate (Cr–Pic) and, alternatively, chromium nanoparticles (Cr–NPs). Young male Wistar [...] Read more.
We aimed to evaluate how feeding a high-fat–low-fiber (F) diet to rats and dietary intervention with the implementation of a standard-fat-and-fiber (S) diet affects the response of the cardiovascular system to chromium (III) picolinate (Cr–Pic) and, alternatively, chromium nanoparticles (Cr–NPs). Young male Wistar Han rats (n/group = 12) from either the fatty group (18 weeks on F diet) or the intervention group (9 weeks on F diet + 9 weeks on S diet) received a pharmacologically relevant dose of 0.3 mg Cr/kg body weight in the form of Cr–Pic or Cr–NPs for 9 weeks. Our study on rats confirmed the pro-inflammatory effect of an F diet administered for 18 weeks. In the intervention group, both Cr–Pic and Cr–NPs decreased heart glutathione ratio (GSH+GSSG), enhanced participation of nitric oxide (NO) derived from inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in vascular relaxation to acetylcholine (ACh), increased the vasodilator net effect of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-derived prostanoids, and increased the production of superoxide anion (O2.−) in aortic rings. Meanwhile, in the fatty group, there was increased heart superoxide dismutase (SOD), decreased heart catalase (CAT), and reduced sensitivity in pre-incubated aortic rings to endogenous prostacyclin (PGI2). The factors that significantly differentiated Cr–NPs from Cr–Pic were (i) decreased blood antioxidant capacity of water-soluble compounds (0.75-fold, p = 0.0205), (ii) increased hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production (1.59-fold, p = 0.0332), and (iii) modified vasodilator response due to PGI2 synthesis inhibition (in the intervention group) vs. modified ACh-induced vasodilator response due to (iv) COX inhibition and v) PGI2 synthesis inhibition with thromboxane receptor blockage after 18 weeks on F diet (in the fatty group). Our results show that supplementation with Cr–Pic rather than with Cr–NPs is more beneficial in rats who regularly consumed an F diet (e.g., for 18 weeks). On the contrary, in the intervention group (9 weeks on F diet + 9 weeks of dietary fat normalization (the S diet)), Cr–Pic and Cr–NPs could function as pro-oxidant agents, initiating free-radical reactions that led to oxidative stress. Full article
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Review

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11 pages, 293 KiB  
Review
Copper and Zinc Particles as Regulators of Cardiovascular System Function—A Review
by Klaudia Kitala, Damian Tanski, Janusz Godlewski, Magdalena Krajewska-Włodarczyk, Leszek Gromadziński and Michał Majewski
Nutrients 2023, 15(13), 3040; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15133040 - 5 Jul 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2647
Abstract
Copper and zinc are micronutrients that play a crucial role in many cellular pathways, act as cofactors in enzymatic systems, and hence, modulate enzyme activity. The regulation of these elements in homeostasis is precisely controlled by various mechanisms. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an [...] Read more.
Copper and zinc are micronutrients that play a crucial role in many cellular pathways, act as cofactors in enzymatic systems, and hence, modulate enzyme activity. The regulation of these elements in homeostasis is precisely controlled by various mechanisms. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme requiring both copper and zinc for proper functioning. Additionally, there is an interaction between the concentrations of copper and zinc. Dietary ingestion of large amounts of zinc augments intestinal absorption of this trace element, resulting in copper deficiency secondary to zinc excess. The presence of an overabundance of copper and zinc has a detrimental impact on the cardiovascular system; however, the impact on vascular contractility varies. Copper plays a role in the modulation of vascular remodeling in the cardiac tissue, and the phenomenon of cuproptosis has been linked to the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease. The presence of copper has an observable effect on the vasorelaxation mediated by nitric oxide. The maintenance of proper levels of zinc within an organism influences SOD and is essential in the pathogenesis of myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury. Recently, the effects of metal nanoparticles have been investigated due to their unique characteristics. On the other hand, dietary introduction of metal nanoparticles may result in vascular dysfunction, oxidative stress, and cellular DNA damage. Copper and zinc intake affect cardiovascular function, but more research is needed. Full article
12 pages, 1480 KiB  
Review
Cardioprotective Potential of Berries of Schisandra chinensis Turcz. (Baill.), Their Components and Food Products
by Beata Olas
Nutrients 2023, 15(3), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15030592 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2495
Abstract
Schisandra chinensis (S. chinensis) berries, originally a component of traditional herbal medicine in China, Korea, and other east Asian countries, are also valuable agents in modern phototherapy. S. chinensis berry preparations, including extracts and their chemical components, demonstrate anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, [...] Read more.
Schisandra chinensis (S. chinensis) berries, originally a component of traditional herbal medicine in China, Korea, and other east Asian countries, are also valuable agents in modern phototherapy. S. chinensis berry preparations, including extracts and their chemical components, demonstrate anti-cancer, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, among others. These valuable properties, and their therapeutic potential, are conditioned by the unique chemical composition of S. chinensis berries, particularly their lignan content. About 40 of these compounds, mainly dibenzocyclooctane type, were isolated from S. chinensis. The most important bioactive lignans are schisandrin (also denoted as schizandrin or schisandrol A), schisandrin B, schisantherin A, schisantherin B, schisanhenol, deoxyschisandrin, and gomisin A. The present work reviews newly-available literature concerning the cardioprotective potential of S. chinensis berries and their individual components. It places special emphasis on the cardioprotective properties of the selected lignans related to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristis. Full article
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