HO-1 (haem oxygenase-1) is a stress-response enzyme involved in the catabolism of haem. In animal models, it plays a key protective role in vascular disease. HO-1 has anti-inflammatory effects in macrophages and is induced by a range of stimuli, including antioxidants, in various cell types. As dietary antioxidants are considered to be beneficial in vascular disease, their protective effects may occur through induction of HO-1. Emerging evidence suggests that a range of dietary and other naturally occurring antioxidants stimulate HO-1 expression in various cell types, although regulation by these compounds has not been investigated in detail. These studies suggest that HO-1 may be a target for dietary therapy in vascular disease.

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