A compound commonly found in onions can be used in preventing fatal blood clots associated with heart attacks and strokes, potentially saving thousands of lives, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Researchers at Harvard University found that the compound, also found in apples, oranges and black and green tea, blocked a potentially dangerous enzyme known as protein disulfide isomerase which is involved in the formation of blood clots.
Lead researcher Robert Flaumenhaft said that the compound, known as Rutin, could be used to develop an inexpensive drug that could prevent blood clots. "Rutin proved to be the most potently anti-thrombotic compound that we ever tested in this model. Clots occur in both arteries and in veins. Clots in arteries are platelet-rich, while those in veins are fibrin-rich. This discovery suggests that a single agent can treat and prevent both types of clots", he said.