Based on what is already known about the bioactive ingredients contained in New Zealand fruit – Blackcurrants and their physiological effects in humans, there appears to be several key areas within prevention, recovery and management of the disease of deep vein thrombosis – a health condition that would potentially benefit from supplementation with a New Zealand Blackcurrant derived product.
Deep vein thrombosis abbreviated to DVT is the formation of a blood clot (thrombosis) in a deep (tissue embedded) vein as occurs in the leg, pelvis and arm areas of the body. Minor symptoms include localised vein inflammation, redness and pain but by far the greatest complication of the disease is the potential for a formed clot to dislodge and migrate through the vascular system to the lungs creating a pulmonary embolism. When formed in the lower extremities of the body there is a 3% chance that the disease progresses into a fatal pulmonary embolism.
In the USA alone there is an annual incidence rate of 1 DVT case per 1000 persons with up to 100,000 deaths related to the disease.
There are believed to be three key mechanisms that enhance the opportunity of DVT occurring in an individual. These include trauma to blood vessel walls, decreased or compromised blood circulation, and an increased tendency for blood clotting. Of particular interest with respect to a Blackcurrant product would be the relationship between DVT, decreased blood flow and the potential to improve blood circulation and reduce inflammation via Blackcurrant supplementation.
The main factor contributing to poor blood circulation in the general population is immobility such as occurs during:
- medium to long term periods of bed rest associated with illness and hospital stays following surgery
- restraint of broken limbs in casts or splints,
- intense periods of confined sitting behind a desk at work or conversely during long distance travel including car, bus and long haul flights (where resulting DVT has been referred to as economy class syndrome).
Poor blood circulation is also a recognised complication of heart disease, diabetes, obesity and smoking.
Research studies into New Zealand Blackcurrant polyphenolic compounds indicate that the ingestion of New Zealand Blackcurrants can both improve blood circulation and aid in the reduction of factors associated with inflammation both potentially important physiologically processes in the prevention of DVT.
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