It’s called rutin, and it’s a flavonoid found in apples, onions, citrus fruits, and tea. Scientists have found this compound has the ability to inhibit blood clots—both those that cause heart attacks and strokes (in vessels) and those that cause deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (in arteries).
Researchers with Harvard Medical School say that about “half of all morbidity and mortality in the United States can be attributed to heart attack or stroke.” So, any evidence of a natural compound that can prevent any of these deaths is promising indeed.
“Rutin proved to be the most potently anti-thrombotic compound that we ever tested in this model,” says Flaumenhaft. Of particular note, rutin was shown to inhibit both platelet accumulation and fibrin generation during thrombus formation. “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.”
Rutin is already sold as a supplement (for those people who would rather not just eat an apple). And the FDA has recognized the supplement as safe- a rare occurrence. But some are concerned that with the new research will come a Big Pharma effort to remove the supplements from the market in favor of making a prescription drug that can fetch some serious money.
Related: How to Prevent a Stroke
The laws surrounding supplements and prescription drugs are complex and confusing. As the Alliance for Natural Health explains:
“It’s just yet another Catch-22. On the one hand, FDA seems to say that scientific research on supplements is inadequate, so that nobody should use them. On the other hand, if any research has been done on them, they automatically become drugs anyway. Heads the drug industry wins; tails it wins too.”
What will happen to rutin remains to be seen. If Big Pharma has it their way, however, it will be taken off the market as a supplement, turned into a drug, and sold back to the people for an astronomical price.
But whether that happens or not, they can’t take the rutin out of the apples. In other words, get your share and reap the benefits of the compound with natural food sources. Green tea, apples, buckwheat, and onions all provide rutin and can therefore encourage vascular health.