Blood coagulation is a physiological process whose main task is prevention of blood loss from injured vessels. This process consists of a series of zymogens proteolytic activation leading to the generation of the main coagulation enzyme - thrombin. Besides its important role in blood coagulation process, thrombin is involved in many cardiovascular diseases, which are responsible for almost half of fatalities in economically developed countries. The evidence for the increased generation and in vivo activity of thrombin was observed in the plasma of individuals at high risk for clinically significant venous and arterial thromboembolic complications. Antioxidants activity of plants extracts has been well known for many years and was confirmed by many publications. However, during the last decade many research centers presented results suggesting anticoagulant potential of various plant extracts. Many researchers have also provided evidence that polyphenol compounds are able to inhibit the activity of many enzymes, including serine proteases. All research described in this review clearly indicate that polyphenols and polyphenol-rich extracts possess not only antioxidative but also anticoagulant properties and may be useful in creation of new therapeutic agents or dietary supplements. Based on described properties polyphenols would be very helpful with both prevention and treatment of thromboembolic complications associated with multiple failures of haemostasis, because the available therapeutic agents do not offer such double-effects (antioxidant and anticoagulant).
Keywords: Anticoagulants; Antioxidants; Blood coagulation; Factor X; Polyphenols; Thrombin.
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