Indexed on: 27 Apr '16Published on: 26 Apr '16Published in: High Blood Pressure & Cardiovascular Prevention
Diet plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Functional foods are increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and improve vascular health. In particular, dietary polyphenols represent an extraordinary inventory of structurally different compounds that may represent promising candidate chemical entities to prevent or delay the onset of hypertension. In recent years, it has been recognized that prehypertension may be a predictor of clinical hypertension and consequently of cardiovascular risk. Moreover, prehypertension status is associated with increased levels of several inflammatory markers and it is also characterized by structural changes, including endothelial dysfunction and arteriolar hypertrophy. Despite the low bioavailability of polyphenols and the lack of clinical data from nutritional intervention studies, the antihypertensive role of polyphenols to control blood pressure and reduce inflammation and endothelial dysfunction has been subject of recent debate. The purpose of this article is to discuss the potential benefits of dietary polyphenols as a promising and effective nutritional strategy for the management of prehypertension.