Cardiovascular disease is also known as heart and blood vessel disease. One of the classical examples cardiovascular disease is atherosclerosis- hardening of the arteries as a result of accumulation of oxidative modification of LDL in the arterial walls triggered by ROS [1]. As heart disease is a global prevalence, the investigation on dietary factors that can help minimizing the risks of developing heart diseases is of utmost importance. In fact, many studies have shown positive link between high intake of carotenoids, particularly alpha- and beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of heart diseases as shown in the list below:

Study Significant Findings Reference
Serum α-carotene concentrations and risk of death among US adults: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study A 14-year follow up epidemiology study demonstrates inverse association between high consumption of alpha-carotene from fruits and vegetables and decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease among US adults aged 20 years and older Li, C., et.al, (2011). JAMA
Prospective study of plasma carotenoids and tocopherols in relation to risk of ischemic stroke Plasma alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene tend to be inversely related to risk of ischemic stroke. Hak, A.E., et. al (2004). Stroke
Dietary carotenoids and risk of coronary artery disease in women High intake of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene shows significant inverse association with risk of coronary artery disease. Osganian, S.K., et.al (2003). Am J Clin Nutr
High plasma levels of alpha-and beta carotene are associated with lower risk of atherosclerosis. The risk of atherosclerosis decreases with increasing plasma alpha- and beta-carotene concentrations Willeit, L. et al. (2000). Atherosclerosis.
High plasma levels of alpha and beta-carotene are associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis: results from the Bruneck study Alpha- and beta-carotene are inversely associated with the prevalence of atherosclerosis in the carotid and femoral arteries and with the 5-y incidence of atherosclerotic lesions D’Odorico, A., et.al (2000). Atherosclerosis.
Serum carotenoids and coronary heart disease: The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial and Follow-up Study. Serum carotenoids were inversely related to CHD events Morris, DL. et al. (1994). Journal of the American Medical Association.
Poor plasma status of carotene and vitamin C is associated with higher mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke: Basel Prospective Study Low plasma carotenoid concentrations significantly increased mortality from heart disease. Gey, K.F., et.al (1993). Clin Investg

Reference:

  1. Vogiatzi, G.; Tousoulis, D.; Stefanadis, C. The role of oxidative stress in atherosclerosis. J. Cardiol. 2009, 50, 402–409.
SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS – HEART HEALTH
1. Li C, et al. (2011). Serum alpha-carotene concentrations and risk of death among US adults. Arch Intern Med, 171(6), 507-515
2. Hak, A. E., et.al (2003). Plasma carotenoids and tocopherols and risk of myocardial infarction in a low-risk population of US male physicians. Circulation; 108(7):802-7.
3. Osganian, S.K., et.al (2003). Dietary carotenoids and risk of coronary artery disease in women. Am J Clin Nutr; 77(6):1390-9.
4. D’Odorico, A., et.al. (2000). High plasma levels of alpha-and beta-carotene are associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis: results from the Bruneck study. Atherosclerosis; 153(1):231-9.
5. Morris, DL. et al. (1994). Serum carotenoids and coronary heart disease:  The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial and Follow-up Study. JAMA. 1994 Nov 9;272(18):1439-41.
6. Gey, K.F., et.al (1993). Poor plasma status of carotene and vitamin C is associated with higher mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke: Basel Prospective Study Clin Investig. 1993 Jan;71(1):3-6.
7. Thyagarajan, B., et.al (2011). Serum carotenoid concentrations predict lung function evolution in young adults: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Am J Clin Nutr; 94(5):1211-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.019067
8. Karppi, J., et.al (2011). Plasma carotenoids are related to intima-media thickness of the carotid artery wall in men from eastern Finland. J Intern Med; 270(5):478-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02401.x.
9. Hozawa, A., et.al (2009). Circulating carotenoid concentrations and incident hypertension: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. J Hypertens; 27(2):237-42. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32832258c9.
10. Sahni, S., et.al (2009). Inverse association of carotenoid intakes with 4-y change in bone mineral density in elderly men and women: the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. Am J Clin Nutr; 89(1):416-24. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26388.
11. Buijsse, B., et.al (2008). Both alpha- and beta-carotene, but not tocopherols and vitamin C, are inversely related to 15-year cardiovascular mortality in Dutch elderly men. J Nutr; 138(2):344-50.
12. Wang, L., et.al (2008). Associations of plasma carotenoids with risk factors and biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease in middle-aged and older women. Am J Clin Nutr; Sep; 88(3):747-54.
13. Hozawa, A., et.al (2007). Relationships of circulating carotenoid concentrations with several markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA)/ Young Adult Longitudinal Trends in Antioxidants (YALTA) study. Clin Chem; 53(3):447-55.
14. Ito, Y., et.al (2006). Cardiovascular disease mortality and serum carotenoid levels: a Japanese population-based follow-up study. J Epidemiol; 16(4):154-60.
15. Hozawa, A., et.al (2006). Associations of serum carotenoid concentrations with the development of diabetes with insulin concentration: interaction with smoking: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study. Am J Epidemiol; 163(10):929-37. 
16.  Voutilainen, S., et.al (2006). Carotenoids and cardiovascular health. Am J Clin Nutr; 83(6):1265-71.
17. 

Hsueh, Y.W., et.al (1998). Low serum carotene level and increased risk of ischemic heart disease related to long-term arsenic exposure. Atherosclerosis; 141(2):249-57.