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In vitro anti-platelet effects of simple plant-derived phenolic compounds are only found at high, non-physiological concentrations



Scope: Bioactive polyphenols from fruits, vegetables, and beverages have anti-platelet effects and may thus affect the development of cardiovascular disease. We screened the effects of 26 low molecular weight phenolic compounds on two in vitro measures of human platelet function.

Methods and results: After platelets had been incubated with one of 26 low molecular weight phenolic compounds in vitro, collagen-induced human platelet aggregation and in vitro TRAP-induced P-selectin expression (as marker of platelet activation) were assessed. Incubation of platelet-rich plasma from healthy volunteers with 100 μmol/L hippuric acid, pyrogallol, catechol, or resorcinol significantly inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation (all p<0.05; n≥15). Incubation of whole blood with concentrations of 100 μmol/L salicylic acid, p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, 4-hydroxyphenylpropionyl glycine, 5-methoxysalicylic acid, and catechol significantly inhibited TRAP-induced surface P-selectin expression (all p<0.05; n=10). Incubation with lower concentrations of phenolics affected neither platelet aggregation nor activation.

Conclusion: As concentrations of 100 μmol/L are unlikely to be reached in the circulation, it is doubtful whether consumption of dietary phenolics in nutritionally attainable amounts plays a major role in inhibition of platelet activation and aggregation in humans.