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Heart Disease - Plant Compounds slow down Blood Clots - Sweet Pepper and Cocoa

January 17th, 2006

Heart Disease - Plant Compounds slow down Blood Clots - Sweet Pepper and Cocoa

Chinese wolfberry

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have discovered two plant compounds that may be potentially healthy for your heart.  A person with heart disease may be helped by the plant compounds by slowing down the blood clotting process.

The research conducted by Jae B. Park at the Human Nutrition Research Center’s Phytonutrient Laboratory was first reported in the current issue of Agricultural Research magazine.  The two plant compounds were N-caffeoyldopamine and N-coumaroyldopamine.  The plant compounds are naturally occurring and are found in sweet peppers, Chinese wolfberry, and cocoa. 

 

“The compounds were found to be potent in their ability to inhibit chemical reactions that lead to blood clotting, such as platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte interaction,” Park said.

Park is also studying other plant sources for these compounds in hopes of finding which plant source has the most N-caffeoyldopamine and N-coumaroyldopamine.  To achieve the benefits of the plant compounds it will likely be a medication or supplement because of there is not enough in a serving of food.

Park found these plant compounds suppressed the sticky platelets, P-selectin.  If there is any damaged blood vessel walls, white blood cells go to repair and remove the dead and foreign material.  When we age, we start to have clogged arteries and fatty substances accumulate on blood vessel walls.  These fatty deposits start a chain reaction by calling the immune cells, proteins, and calcium in the bloodstream to stick to the blood vessel’s inner wall.  This process causes a build of plaque, prevents blood flow, and will cause blood clots. 

 

“Blood clotting causes the artery to narrow even more, and in some cases, prevents the blood from supplying the heart muscle, which results in a condition called ‘acute coronary syndrome,’” says Park.

These two plant compounds reflect the importance of eating your vegetables.  It is unlikely by eating foods containing these plant compounds will be medicinal; however, it still is a good choice for a healthy diet.

 
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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

   

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM