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The ex vivo and in vitro antithrombotic properties of fermented Irish ovine yogurt drink
1 , 2 , 3 , 3 , 4 , * 5 , * 2
1  Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick
2  Department of Biological Sciences, University of Limerick, Co. Limerick, Ireland.
3  Shannon Applied Biotechnology Centre, Technological University of the Shannon, Moylish Park, Limerick, Ireland
4  Department of Chemistry, School of Sciences, International Hellenic University, Saint Luke, GR65404, Ka-vala, Greece
5  e Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Penn-sylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA
Academic Editor: Antonio Bevilacqua


Platelet function is closely linked with cardiovascular health. Excessive or uncontrolled platelet activation leads to platelet aggregation and formation of a thrombus, and occurrence of acute cardiovascular events.

Certain Mediterranean foods like fish and yogurt are enriched in bioactive polar lipids that can combat inflammation, and thus are regarded as functional foods that may prevent incidence of chronic disease linked with inflammation. Prior research has also confirmed that fermented dairy foods display enhanced anti-platelet activity, for example, ovine or sheep milk has altered antithrombotic activity from in vitro studies.

Thus, the project aim was to assess the effect of an ovine yogurt drink on platelet sensitivity, both in a human trial and in vitro. Briefly, fermented ovine yogurt was prepared by a small Irish business and used in lipid extraction procedures to recover total, neutral and polar lipids. Lipid fractions were tested for platelet inhibition, and following this, volunteers were recruited for a double-blind crossover dietary study.

Overall, in vitro studies proved that lipid fractions of yogurt can inhibit platelet aggregation. Results from dietary intervention showed that YD intake reduces platelet activation against thrombin pathway, compared to placebo. This is notable since yogurt contains relatively low doses of polar lipids, yet a strong anti-platelet effect is observed. However, larger scale studies are required to more robustly establish the effect of yogurt intake on platelet sensitivity, following this interim analysis.

Keywords: yogurt; polar lipids; platelet aggregation; thrombin-activator receptor pep-tide-6 (TRAP-6); nutraceuticals; antithrombotic; functional foods