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Are the antioxidants a good call to prevent cardiovascular disease?

Because free radicals and reactive oxygen species are often not selective and highly reactive, it is reasonable to think that substances that neutralize these molecules, or that counteract free radicals effects, would be beneficial in human health. Interestingly, this is not what the free radical researchers have found so far. The research headed by Professor Francisco Laurindo’s group, at the Instituto do Coração (Incor) Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (FMUSP), has shown that the use of lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant and nutritional supplement, increased aorta aneurism in an animal model of Marfan’s syndrome. It is likely that a balance in the oxidant production is important to keep the homeostasis of the vascular tissue in this syndrome. This finding opened new questions about the effect of antioxidants in vascular remodeling in other cardiovascular disorders. Professor Francisco Laurindo is the vice-director of the CEPID-Redoxoma, granted by the São Paulo Research Foundantion (FAPESP). The complete interview is online at

compiled by Flavia C. Meotti, Ph.D.

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