Background: Among non-communicable diseases, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in global communities. By 2030, CVD-related deaths are projected to reach a global rise of 25 million. Obesity, smoking, alcohol, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and hyperhomocysteinemia are several known risk factors for CVDs. Elevated homocysteine is tightly related to CVDs through multiple mechanisms, including inflammation of the vascular endothelium. The strategies for appropriate management of CVDs are constantly evolving; medicinal plants have received remarkable attention in recent researches, since these natural products have promising effects on the prevention and treatment of various chronic diseases. The effects of nutraceuticals and herbal products on CVD/dyslipidemia have been previously studied. However, to our knowledge, the association between herbal bioactive compounds and homocysteine has not been reviewed in details. Thus, the main objective of this study is to review the efficacy of bioactive natural compounds on homocysteine levels according to clinical trials and animal studies. Results: Based on animal studies, black and green tea, cinnamon, resveratrol, curcumin, garlic extract, ginger, and soy significantly reduced the homocysteine levels. According to the clinical trials, curcumin and resveratrol showed favorable effects on serum homocysteine. In conclusion, this review highlighted the beneficial effects of medicinal plants as natural, inexpensive, and accessible agents on homocysteine levels based on animal studies. Nevertheless, the results of the clinical trials were not uniform, suggesting that more well-designed trials are warranted.
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