ABSTRACT: Excessive oxidative stress and low-grade chronic inflammation are major pathophysiological factors contributing to the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis. Accumulating evidence suggests that a compromised anti-oxidant system can lead to excessive oxidative stress in cardiovascular related organs, resulting in cell damage and death. In addition, increased circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein, are closely related to morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular complications. Emerging evidence suggests that interventions including nutrition, pharmacology and exercise may activate expression of cellular anti-oxidant systems via the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2-Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 signaling pathway and play a role in preventing inflammatory processes in CVD. The focus of the present review is to summarize recent evidence showing the role of these anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory interventions in cardiovascular disease. We believe that these findings may prompt new effective pathogenesis-oriented interventions, based on the exercise-induced protection from disease in the cardiovascular system, aimed at targeting oxidant stress and inflammation.
World journal of cardiology. 01/2011; 3(1):18-24.