Palm Oil Developments No.53 (Dec 2010) p8-12

Blood Thinning Effects and Phytonutrients

MEGANATHAN, Puvaneswari, SELVADURAY, Kanga Rani , NESARETNAM, Kalanithi

The cardiovascular system also known as the circulation system, involves the heart and all the blood vessels. These blood vessels can be referred to as the transport system of our body. They transport nutrients, oxygen, vitamins and minerals to the entire body and remove the waste materials. Hence, any damage or injury to the blood vessels must be repaired immediately. A disruption in the blood flow will deprive our body especially the heart of all the necessary nutrition. When there is an injury, natural response will take place in order to prevent excessive blood loss by forming blood clots to seal the injury. The process responsible for this purpose is platelet aggregation which is the clumping of platelets to form a thrombus (clot). Platelets are tiny components in the blood but they play a vital role in forming clots. The clot consists of tiny threads that trap the red blood cells and prevent them from leaking. This will stop bleeding and reduce blood loss (Figure 1). Platelet aggregation is a normal process in the body. However, unnecessary formation of blood clots will block the blood vessels and cause cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

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