Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of worldwide deaths. A number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes and stroke present as the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic risk factors include hypertension, abdominal obesity, dyslipidaemia and increased blood glucose levels and may also include risk factors such as vascular dysfunction, insulin resistance, low high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and inflammation. Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and honeybush (Cyclopia spp.) are indigenous South African plants whose reported health benefits include anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, antioxidant, cardioprotective and anti-diabetic properties. The last two decades have seen worldwide interest and success for these plants, not only as health beverages but also as preservatives, flavourants and skincare products. This review will focus on the current literature supporting the function of these plants as nutraceuticals capable of potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Part of the book: Nutraceuticals