story to find out more.
Schoene (foreground), Renee Peters and Jae Park measure the suppression of
adhesive molecules that "glue" platelets to blood vessel walls in mouse
blood. Click the image for more information about it.
New Plant Compounds Could Aid Blood Flow
By Rosalie Marion
Bliss January 17, 2006
An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist has identified, defined and
developed look-alike versions of two potentially heart-healthy compounds
produced naturally by plants. Sufficient amounts of the compoundseither
in foods or as dietary supplementsmay prove to inhibit the early stages
of blood clotting that are associated with heart disease.
The research was conducted by ARS biochemist
Park at the
(Md.) Human Nutrition Research Center's
Laboratory. The chemical structures of the two compounds and their
biological activities were detailed in a 2005 patent application. Rigorous
testing and regulatory approval are required before any products based on the
compounds are released.
Park synthesized a larger quantity of the compounds than is likely
found naturally in foods. In separate tests, he exposed each compound to blood
collected from mice. Both compounds suppressed a natural process in which
plateletsdisk-shaped cells circulating in the bloodstick to other
blood cells inside blood vessel walls. Platelets release chemicals that cause
the cascade of events that results in formation of plugs, or clots, at the site
of injury within blood vessels.
At this time, it is not known whether the amounts of these newly
identified compounds normally present in foods are sufficient to cause the
inhibitory effect on platelets. Park is now studying the compounds in a number
of plant sources to gauge their potency.
about this research in the January 2006 issue of Agricultural Research
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agricultures chief scientific research agency.