Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the world’s primary cause of death and disability, represents a global health problem and involves a great public financial commitment in terms of both inability to work and pharmaceutical costs. CVD is characterized by a cluster of disorders, associated with complex interactions between multiple risk factors. The early identification of high cardiovascular risk subjects is one of the main targets of primary prevention in order to reduce the adverse impact of modifiable factors, from lifestyle changes to pharmacological treatments. The cardioprotective effect of food antioxidants is well known. Indeed, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables results in an increase in serum antioxidant capacity and a decrease in oxidative stress. In contrast, studies on antioxidant supplementation, even those that are numerically significant, have revealed no clear benefit in prevention and therapy of CVD. Both short- and long-term clinical trials have failed to consistently support cardioprotective effects of supplemental antioxidant intake. The aim of this review is to evaluate the antioxidant effects on the main cardiovascular risk factors including hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes.
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