Hypertension and obesity are two significant factors that contribute to the onset and exacerbation of a cascade of mechanisms including activation of the sympathetic and renin-angiotensin systems, oxidative stress, release of inflammatory mediators, increase of adipogenesis and thus promotion of systemic dysfunction that leads to clinical manifestations of cardiovascular diseases. Seaweeds, in addition to their use as food, are now unanimously acknowledged as an invaluable source of new natural products that may hold noteworthy leads for future drug discovery and development, including in the prevention and/or treatment of the cardiovascular risk factors. Several compounds including peptides, phlorotannins, polysaccharides, carotenoids, and sterols, isolated from brown, red and green macroalgae exhibit significant anti-hypertensive and anti-obesity properties. This review will provide a comprehensive overview of the recent advances on bioactive pure compounds isolated from different seaweed sources focusing on their potential use as drugs to treat or prevent hypertension and obesity. On the other hand, although it is obvious that macroalgae represent promising sources of antihypertensive and anti-obesity compounds, it is also clear that further efforts are required to fully understand their cellular mechanisms of action, to establish structure-inhibition relationships and mainly to evaluate them in pre-clinical and clinical trials.
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