Flavonoids from Fruit and Vegetables: A Focus on Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Abstract

Epidemiological studies suggest that high intakes of dietary flavonoids are associated with decreased cardiovascular disease mortality and risk factors. Less is known about the cardioprotective effects of flavonoids from fruit and vegetables. This review summarizes data from studies which examine the effects of commonly consumed fruit and vegetables on cardiovascular disease risk biomarkers in healthy volunteers or at-risk individuals. Although flavonoids from apples, berries, and onions appear to impact positively on blood pressure, vascular function, and serum lipid levels, further research is required to find out the optimal quantity and food matrix for conferring substantial clinical benefit. The benefits from citrus flavonoids are still inconclusive. Further robust, longer-term dietary intervention studies, with the inclusion of placebo or control arms, are required to improve the credibility of the findings and confirm current observations. An improved understanding of the impact of flavonoids from fruit and vegetables can help one make discerning food choices for optimal cardiovascular health.

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Conflict of Interest

J.Y. Toh, Verena M.H. Tan, Paul C.Y. Lim, S.T. Lim, and Mary F.F. Chong declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mary F. F. Chong.

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Toh, J.Y., Tan, V.M.H., Lim, P.C.Y. et al. Flavonoids from Fruit and Vegetables: A Focus on Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Curr Atheroscler Rep 15, 368 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-013-0368-y

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Keywords

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Flavonoids
  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Vascular function
  • Blood lipids
  • Blood pressure