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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 12, Issue 1, Pages 1-9
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10446670410001722140

Flavanols and Platelet Reactivity

1Department of Human Biology ES 301, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay 54311, WI, USA
2Department of Nutrition, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis 95616, CA, USA
3Sacramento Medical Foundation, Center for Blood Research, 1625 Stockton Boulevard, Sacramento 95816, CA, USA
4Mars Incorporated, 800 High Street, Hackettstown 07840, NJ, USA
5Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, USA

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Platelet activity and platelet-endothelial cell interactions are important in the acute development of thrombosis, as well as in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. An increasing number of foods have been reported to have platelet-inhibitory actions, and research with a number of flavanol-rich foods, including, grape juice, cocoa and chocolate, suggests that these foods may provide some protection against thrombosis. In the present report, we review a series of in vivo studies on the effects of flavanol-rich cocoa and chocolate on platelet activation and platelet-dependent primary hemostasis. Consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa inhibited several measures of platelet activity including, epinephrine- and ADP-induced glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa and P-Selectin expression, platelet microparticle formation, and epinephrine-collagen and ADP-collagen induced primary hemostasis. The epinephrine-induced inhibitory effects on GP IIb/IIIa and primary hemostasis were similar to, though less robust than those associated with the use of low dose (81 mg) aspirin. These data, coupled with information from other studies, support the concept that flavanols present in cocoa and chocolate can modulate platelet function through a multitude of pathways.