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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 782137, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/782137
Review Article

Dietary Intake of Carotenoids and Their Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects in Cardiovascular Care

1Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
2Intensive Cardiology Care Unit, San Camillo de Lellis Hospital, Via Isonzo 1, 71043 Manfredonia, Italy

Received 14 May 2013; Revised 19 September 2013; Accepted 10 October 2013

Academic Editor: Muzamil Ahmad

Copyright © 2013 Marco Matteo Ciccone et al. 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.

Abstract

Cardiovascular disease related to atherosclerosis represents nowadays the largest cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. Due to inflammatory nature of atherosclerosis, several studies had been conducted in order to search for substances with anti-inflammatory activity on arterial walls, able to exert beneficial roles on health. Researches investigated the role of dietary carotenoids supplementation on cardiovascular disease, due to their free radicals scavenger properties and their skills in improving low-density lipoprotein cholesterol resistance to oxidation. Nevertheless, literature data are conflicting: although some studies found a positive relationship between carotenoids supplementation and cardiovascular risk reduction, others did not find any positive effects or even prooxidant actions. This paper aimed at defining the role of carotenoids supplementation on cardiovascular risk profile by reviewing literature data, paying attention to those carotenoids more present in our diet (β-carotene, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin).