Dietary factors can play a crucial role in the development of atherosclerosis. High fat, high calorie diets are well known risk factors for this disease. In addition, there is strong evidence that dietary animal proteins also can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Atherogenic effects of animal proteins are related, at least in part, to high levels of methionine in these proteins. An excess of dietary methionine may induce atherosclerosis by increasing plasma lipid levels and/or by contributing to endothelial cell injury or dysfunction. In addition, methionine imbalance elevates plasma/tissue homocysteine which may induce oxidative stress and injury to endothelial cells. Methionine and homocysteine metabolism is regulated by the cellular content of vitamins B6, B12, riboflavin and folic acid. Therefore, deficiencies of these vitamins may significantly influence methionine and homocysteine levels and their effects on the development of atherosclerosis.
- Endothelial Cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism