Throughout history, cocoa has been described as a medicine for manyailments. New research suggests that cocoa may also have a beneficialeffect on heart disease and stroke. A research team in Southampton inEngland, led by Dr Denise O'Shaugnessy, has shown that drinking a cupof cocoa can prevent potentially fatal blood clots. Dr O'Shaughnessywill present this data at the XXth Congress of the InternationalSociety on Thrombosis & Haemostasis in Sydney tomorrow.
When blood clots lodge in our brain or heart there are potentiallyfatal consequences such as stroke or heart attack. Cells in our bloodcalled platelets are necessary for clotting to occur andO'Shaughnessy's research team showed that cocoa inhibits plateletfunction.
O'Shaughnessy said, "Cocoa contains a substance calledflavinoids, which are also present in red wine. Flavinoids can bepreventive for coronary heart disease; however our research hasuncovered another ingredient in cocoa which may be responsible for theplatelet inhibition. This finding may well lead to important newtherapies to prevent heart disease and stroke. But it may also meanthat a nice hot cup of cocoa may also take on new importance for peoplein high risk categories."
BLOOD TYPES and DVT -- DO THEY MATTER?
Research out of the Netherlands has shown that your blood type canincrease the risk of suffering deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood typesin humans include A, B, AB or O. The study showed that people withblood type A, B or AB had an increased risk of DVT.
Researcher, Dr Vania Morelli, from the Leiden University MedicalCenter in The Netherlands, said "A non-O blood type strongly increasesthe risk in people who carry a variant of a protein (called Factor VLeiden) involved in blood clotting. This variant protein is found inaround 3% of people of European descent".
"Our research suggests that information on blood type may havea role in the management of DVT, especially in carriers of this variantprotein. It is obviously important to know what your blood group is!"said Morelli.
Dr Morelli will present this research at the XXth Congress ofthe International Society on Thrombosis & Haemostasis in Sydneytomorrow.
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