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October 2021

Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 1997 Summer; 12(3): 3-23.

Recent nutritional approaches to the prevention and therapy of cardiovascular disease.

Kendler BS.

Manhattan College, NY, USA.

Nutritional factors play an important role in the development and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, health care professionals may overlook, or even disregard, some of these factors for several reasons, including inadequate training and conflicting reports in the biomedical literature. This review provides a synopsis of more than two-dozen nutritional approaches to primary and secondary prevention and therapy of CVD. Favorable cardiovascular effects have been reported with the use of unsaturated fatty acids, vegetarian and semi-vegetarian diets, dietary fiber, plant sterols, alcoholic beverages, vitamins (niacin, E, C, B6, B12, folate), minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, selenium), conditionally-essential nutrients (coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine, taurine) and botanical agents (garlic, hawthorn, gugulipid). In contrast, trans-fatty acids, oxysterols, homocysteinemia, carbohydrate intolerance, and excessive sodium chloride and iron have been associated with undesirable cardiovascular effects. A nutritional approach to CVD provides a pivotal adjuvant to traditional pharmaceutical and/or surgical interventions by maximizing the likelihood of success in decreasing CVD morbidity and mortality and minimizing the economic and social costs associated with this disease.

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