Chemical found in apples, onions and green tea can help beat blood clots
06:48 GMT, 9 May 2012
Green tea, being picked here in Shizuoka province, Japan, contains rutin that could help treat several ailments
Chemicals found in apples, oranges and onions could prevent blood clots, claim scientists.
They believe that rutin – also present in black and green tea – could be used in future treatments to protect against heart attacks and strokes.
Harvard researchers found that the chemical helped block a potentially dangerous enzyme involved in the formation of blood clots.
This enzyme – called protein disulfide isomerase – is released very quickly when blood clots form in the arteries and veins.
researchers tested the ability of 500 different chemicals -including
rutin- to block PDI using scientific models on computers. They found that rutin was by far the most effective.
scientists – whose paper is published in the Journal of Clinical
Investigation – discovered that it could protect blood clots that occur
in both the arteries and veins.
In future they hope to use rutin to help develop simple, in treatments that could be used in patients at risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Super foods: Apples and oranges also contain rutin that could help prevent blood clots and protect against heart attacks and strokes
Professor Robert Flaumenhaft, from the Harvard Medical School said: ‘Rutin proved to be the most potently anti-thrombotic compound that we ever tested in this model.
‘Clots occur in both arteries and in veins. Clots in arteries are platelet-rich, while those in veins are fibrin-rich. This discovery suggests that a single agent can treat and prevent both types of clots.’
He added: ‘A safe and inexpensive drug that could reduce recurrent clots could help save thousands of lives.’
Blood clots, or thromboses, occur in arteries and vein and restrict the flow of blood. They can become dislodged and move to other parts of the body.
If a clot occurs in one of the main arteries leading to the heart it causes a heart attack.
A clot occurring in an artery leading to the brain causes a stroke.