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Protective Role of Polyphenols against Vascular Inflammation, Aging and Cardiovascular Disease

Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging (CAENRA), Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(1), 53;
Received: 1 December 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 21 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammation- An Ancient Battle. What are the Roles of Nutrients?)
PDF [12769 KB, uploaded 28 December 2018]


Aging is a major risk factor in the development of chronic diseases affecting various tissues including the cardiovascular system, muscle and bones. Age-related diseases are a consequence of the accumulation of cellular damage and reduced activity of protective stress response pathways leading to low-grade systemic inflammation and oxidative stress. Both inflammation and oxidative stress are major contributors to cellular senescence, a process in which cells stop proliferating and become dysfunctional by secreting inflammatory molecules, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and extracellular matrix components that cause inflammation and senescence in the surrounding tissue. This process is known as the senescence associated secretory phenotype (SASP). Thus, accumulation of senescent cells over time promotes the development of age-related diseases, in part through the SASP. Polyphenols, rich in fruits and vegetables, possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities associated with protective effects against major chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this review, we discuss molecular mechanisms by which polyphenols improve anti-oxidant capacity, mitochondrial function and autophagy, while reducing oxidative stress, inflammation and cellular senescence in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and endothelial cells (ECs). We also discuss the therapeutic potential of polyphenols in reducing the effects of the SASP and the incidence of CVD. View Full-Text
Keywords: NADPH oxidases; polyphenols; senescence; VSMCs; ECs; ROS; cardiovascular disease NADPH oxidases; polyphenols; senescence; VSMCs; ECs; ROS; cardiovascular disease

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Serino, A.; Salazar, G. Protective Role of Polyphenols against Vascular Inflammation, Aging and Cardiovascular Disease. Nutrients 2019, 11, 53.

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