If youâ€™ve been taking aspirin daily to improve heart health, youâ€™ll be interested to know about a much tastier way to get the same effects â€“ eat two to three kiwifruit a day.
Recent research conducted by the University of Oslo in Norway reveals that consuming two to three kiwifruit per day can work to thin blood, reduce clotting and lower fat in the blood that can cause blockage, without negatively affecting cholesterol levels. In short, kiwifruit consumption has similar effects to the daily dosage of aspirin recommended by physicians to improve heart health.
"Platelet inhibitory drugs, such as aspirin, have been shown to reduce the incidence of myocardial infarction, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease," says Professor Asim K. Duttaroy of the Institute for Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Oslo, Norway who spearheaded the research. "Our study shows that consuming two or three kiwifruit per day for 28 days significantly reduced platelet aggregation (blood clotting) in human volunteers. Moreover, plasma triglyceride levels were also reduced in these volunteers."
In his research paper, which was published in the August 2004 issue of Platelets medical journal, Dr. Duttaroy explains that certain phytonutrients, known as polyphenolic compounds, are widely distributed in fruits and vegetables.
"There is something in kiwifruit which creates an anti-platelet effect," says Duttaroy, who also notes that it appears the mode of action by which kiwifruit elicits this response is quite different from that of aspirin. "Further research on identification of the active compound is required for a more definitive conclusion."
Duttaroy explains that the dosage level in the study was restricted to two to three fruits per day to prevent any negative side effects. He also notes that it could be assumed kiwifruit consumption would not create any of those risk factors associated with aspirin such as stomach pain, excessive bruising or bleeding, nor does kiwifruit appear to disrupt the effects of any other medications.
For now, researchers are stopping short of recommending kiwifruit as a replacement for aspirin by cardio vascular patients. Those under a doctorâ€™s care should consult their physician before making any dietary changes.
Kiwifruit is currently produced year round with leading suppliers being New Zealand, Chile, Italy and California. Kiwifruit harvest is just beginning in California and supplies will be available from September and into May.
"We are learning that the nutritional benefit of kiwifruit is rather astounding," says Lindy LaFrancis, president of the California Kiwifruit Commission. "In fact, in a study conducted at Rutgers University, kiwifruit was determined to be the most nutrient dense fruit, which means that ounce-for-ounce kiwifruit contains more vitamins and minerals than 27 of the most commonly consumed fruits. With this new information, it is our hope that more people will realize the benefits of kiwifruit consumption."
For more information visit www.kiwifruit.org or contact Dominique Hansen at (831) 786-1665.