A human dietary intervention trial conducted by Medical Laboratory Science Program researcher Abishek Santha Kumar is expected to show that natural antioxidant compounds found in the Queen Garnet Plum may have the potential to complement anti-clotting drugs such as aspirin.

“We already know that increased platelet activity in the blood increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and thrombosis. It has also been shown that various antioxidants reduce platelet activity. If we can prove that the antioxidant compounds in this particular plum are instrumental in inhibiting this platelet activity, then we may be able to work towards reducing the risk of thrombosis,” said Mr Abishek.

Anti-clotting drugs assist in thinning the blood and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, however they sometimes do not work effectively especially in people who are sensitive to them or who may have resistance to these drugs.

“With the positive outcome from this research that we anticipate, we could propose the supplementation of anti-clotting drugs with the juice from this new plum.

“This will be great news for people at risk of thrombosis and cardiovascular disease as they will be able to use a natural product that will reduce platelet activity,” said Mr Abishek.

Newly developed by Queensland scientists at the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, the Queen Garnet plum is a local Queensland product known to be especially rich in antioxidants.

Mr Abishek said the twenty participants taking part in the trial will have their blood tested both prior to and following, their diet being supplemented with the plum’s juice. This will confirm whether platelet activity has declined as a result of the antioxidants.

A second part of the trial will entail assessing the effect of the juice on participants following a period of prolonged exercise.

“Getting participants into a state of induced oxidative stress following exercise will allow us to tell whether the juice is reducing the amount of platelet activity

and therefore confirm that the antioxidants are providing positive effect.”

Mr Abishek, who formerly studied the effects of taurine on platelet activity and its effect on thrombosis as part of his Medical Laboratory Science degree, is using his latest research as part of his PhD study at Griffith.