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Review Article

Anti-atherosclerotic Effects of Spice-Derived Phytochemicals

[ Vol. 28 , Issue. 6 ]


Ayesheh Enayati, Thomas P. Johnston and Amirhossein Sahebkar*   Pages 1197 - 1223 ( 27 )


Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world. Atherosclerosis is characterized by oxidized lipid deposition and inflammation in the arterial wall and represents a significant problem in public health and medicine. Some dietary spices have been widely used in many countries; however, the mechanism of their action as it relates to the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis is still poorly understood. In this review, we focus on the properties of various spice-derived active ingredients used in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, as well as associated atherosclerotic risk factors. We provide a summary of the mechanisms of action, epidemiological analyses, and studies of various components of spice used in the clinic, animal models, and cell lines related to atherosclerosis. Most notably, we focused on mechanisms of action by which these spice-derived compounds elicit their lipid-lowering, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory properties, as well as their involvement in selected biochemical and signal transduction pathways. It is suggested that future research should aim to design well-controlled clinical trials and more thoroughly investigate the role of spices and their active components in the prevention/treatment of atherosclerosis. Based on this literature review, it appears that spices and their active components are well tolerated and have few adverse side effects and, therefore, provide a promising adjunctive treatment strategy for patients with atherosclerosis.


Atherosclerosis, spice-derived phytochemicals, inflammation, antioxidant, lipid-lowering, immune system.


Ischemic Disorders Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences, Gorgan, Division of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, Halal Research Center of IRI, FDA, Tehran

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