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Cardiovascular effects of monoterpenes: a review

Márcio R. V. Santos Flávia V. Moreira Byanka P. Fraga Damião P. de Souza Leonardo R. Bonjardim Lucindo J. Quintans-Junior About the authors

The monoterpenes are secondary metabolites of plants. They have various pharmacological properties including antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-spasmodic, hypotensive, and vasorelaxant. The purpose of this research was to review the cardiovascular effects of monoterpenes. The data in this resarch were collected using the Internet portals Pubmed, Scopus, and ISI Web of Knowledge between the years 1987 and 2010. In the study 33 monoterpenes were included, which were related to each of the thirteen individual words: artery, cardiovascular, heart, myocyte, vasorelaxant, vessel, hypotension, hypotensive, cardiomyocyte, ventricular, vasodilatory, aorta, and aortic. The research utilized 22 articles published mainly in the journals Phytomedicine, Fundamental Clinical Pharmacology, Planta Medica, Life Science, European Journal of Pharmacology, and Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. Of the 33 monoterpenes studied surveyed, sixteen of them had already been studied for their effects on the cardiovascular system: carvacrol, citronellol, p-cymene, eucalyptol (1,8-cineole), linalool, menthol, myrtenal, myrtenol, α-pinene, rotundifolone (piperitenone oxide), sobrerol, thymol, α-limonene, α-terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol, and perillyl alcohol. The main effects observed were vasorelaxation, decreased heart rate and blood pressure. This review showed that the monoterpenes may be considered promising agents for prevention or treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system.

cardiovascular system; essential oils; monoterpenes; review

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