Effects of the flavonoids quercetin and apigenin on hemostasis in healthy volunteers: results from an in vitro and a dietary supplement study.

K. Janssen, R.P. Mensink, F.J.J. Cox, J.L. van Harry, R. Hovenier, P.C. Hollman, M.B. Katan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Human Nutrition, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Intake of dietary flavonols and flavones was inversely associated with risk for cardiovascular disease in several epidemiologic studies. This may have been due to effects on hemostasis because flavonoids have been reported to inhibit platelet aggregation in vitro. We indeed found that 2500 micromol/L of the flavonol quercetin and the flavone apigenin significantly inhibited collagen- and ADP-induced aggregation in platelet-rich plasma and washed platelets by approximately 80-97%. However, lower concentrations, such as might occur in vivo, had no effect. To test this in vivo we fed 18 healthy volunteers 220 g onions/d providing 114 mg quercetin/d, 5 g dried parsley/d providing 84 mg apigenin/d, or a placebo for 7 d each in a randomized crossover experiment with each treatment period lasting 2 wk. Onion consumption raised mean plasma quercetin concentrations to 1.5 micromol/L; plasma apigenin could not be measured. No significant effects of onions or parsley were found on platelet aggregation, thromboxane B2 production, factor VII, or other hemostatic variables. We conclude that the antiaggregatory effects of flavonoids seen in vitro are due to concentrations that cannot be attained in vivo. Effects of dietary flavonols and flavones on cardiovascular risk are possibly not mediated by hemostatic variables.

Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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