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Aspirin replacement? Tomato supplement could reduce risk of heart attack
by Olivia Lerche

A supplement derived from tomatoes which experts said improves the flow of blood around the body could reduce the number of people who take a daily dose of aspirin ‘just in case’ of heart attacks.

Experts have revealed the supplement, called Fruitflow, could help maintain normal blood flow and maintain a healthy heart in adults.

Researchers have compared the antiplatelet effects – of the supplement with the drug aspirin – finding the Fruitflow supplement was as effective as a single dose of the drug.

An anti platelet effect means it makes the blood less sticky and can stop blood clots developing.

Aspirin is a common medicine that has a number of uses, from relieving pain to reducing the risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Long-term treatment with low doses of aspirin – usually 75mg – has an antiplatelet effect.

However, experts found Fruitflow, which is derived from an ingredient found around the seeds of a tomato, has a similar but more beneficial effect, slowing down the reactions of platelets while still letting them clot naturally.

This means that with aspirin they clot much more slowly, which can cause gastric bleeding.

Research commissioned by Provexis, makers of Fruitflow+ Omega-3, reveals that one in ten Brits over the age of 45 currently take a low dose aspirin daily.

Approximately a quarter of these are women and three quarters are men.

Research has revealed that of the 3 million people who currently take aspirin daily, a staggering 21 per cent or 593,662, people take it ‘just in case’.

Clinical guidelines state healthy people – those not at high risk of cardiovascular disease – should not be taking aspirin as a preventative measure.

Professor Asim Duttaroy of Provexis, who made the breakthrough discovery of the active anti-clotting ingredients in the tomato, said: “We at Provexis are hoping to raise awareness of the three pillars of cardiovascular health: healthy cholesterol, blood pressure levels and, just as important, healthy blood flow.

Aspirin replacement: Supplement could improve blood flow and reduce risk of heart attacks

“Healthy blood flow is fundamental to maintaining a healthy circulation, and avoiding dangerous blood clots, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.

“Within the blood there are platelets, released from bone marrow, which can change function from being smooth to spiky and sticky.

“In a smooth state they circulate easily but if they become spiky they can stick to the blood vessels and send out signals for other platelets to join them to form a clot. While this is obviously vital in an injury, it’s dangerous if it happens inside a blood vessel and any resulting clot interrupts healthy blood flow.

“Many people don’t know that as they get older their blood platelets tend to get spiky and sticky more of the time, meaning their blood flows less smoothly.

“Plus ’activated’ sticky platelets are more likely in people who have high cholesterol or blood pressure, are overweight, smoke, have a poor diet, lack exercise, have diabetes or experience stress.

“Generally, everyone’s blood flow can change hourly based on any of these lifestyle factors, meaning we all need to be more aware of managing it.

“So, we’re delighted that after making the discovery and years of gathering and publishing evidence across many human trials, we’ve credibly proved that Fruitflow works to maintain a healthy blood flow, in a similar way to aspirin, but with a milder and reversible action, making it suitable for use as a dietary antiplatelet.”

Experts said normally a ‘platelet plug’ will be fully formed in flowing blood within 50 to 100 seconds.

The found if people take Fruitflow daily, this would slow to between 100 and 150 seconds, but in aspirin it slows to 300 to 600 seconds, or four times the normal range.

With aspirin, therefore, the platelets are so strongly affected that the body can continue to bleed freely even ten minutes after a cut is received.

Experts have said the ingredients from the tomatoes need to be in a highly concentrated form to be effective.

Scientists at Provexis have extracted these ingredients and combined them with omega-3 in capsule that has been classified as a food. Experts said for at least six weeks, the supplement will work to promote normal blood flow and normal heart function.

The study was published today in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 

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