This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
The risk of thrombosis, commonly known as a blood clot, can represent a significant threat to overall health and quality of life. Clots that form and become unstable can break away, blocking blood flow to the brain or the heart muscle.The result can be a fatal heart attack, stroke or debilitating paralysis leading to diminished capacity that frequently signals a shortened life expectancy.
Rutin Flavonoids Prevent Blood Clots by Inhibiting Platelet Aggregation
There are a number of natural compounds that help to improve the structure of the vascular system including vitamin C and the amino acids lysine and proline. Researchers publishing in The Journal of Clinical Investigation describe the effect of a compound called rutin, commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as oranges and asparagus. It is also sold over the counter as a dietary supplement as it has been shown to inhibit the formation of blood clots in an animal model of thrombosis.
The lead study author, Dr. Robert Flaumenhaft, an investigator in the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at BIDMC and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, commented, “It’s not always fully appreciated that the majority of Americans will die as the result of a blood clot in either their heart or their brain… approximately half of all morbidity and mortality in the United States can be attributed to heart attack or stroke.” Any natural compound that is shown to prevent blood clot formation can significantly lower vascular-related mortality.
PDI Protein Secretion is Halted by Rutin from Diet or Supplementation
To conduct the study, researchers focused on a protein called disulfide isomerase (PDI) which is found in all cells. Past studies have shown that PDI is rapidly secreted from both platelets and endothelial cells during thrombosis when a clot forms in a blood vessel, and that inhibition of PDI could block thrombosis and prevent a fatal stroke or heart attack. The scientists therefore developed a wide-scale search for a natural agent capable of inhibiting the PDI protein and prevent vascular thrombosis.
Researchers identified quercetin-3-rutinoside (rutin), a bioflavonoid that is naturally found in many fruits, vegetables and teas including onions, apples and citrus fruits. The scientists noted that “Rutin proved to be the most potently anti-thrombotic compound that we ever tested,” as the flavonoid was shown to inhibit both platelet accumulation and fibrin generation during thrombus formation. Three to five daily servings of rutin from dietary sources or supplementing with 500 mg per day is shown to reduce platelet stickiness leading to blood clots and risk of early death from stroke and heart attack.