Lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia, are known to impair hematological and circulatory functions. These impairments may result in an inadequate supply of nutrients to the cell, further worsening patient health. Poor circulation is referred to as blood stasis syndrome. Thus, improvements in circulation may contribute to the treatment and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.
A recent study by Murata et al published in Journal of Natural Medicines investigated the in vivo effects of Morinda citrifolia fruit (MCF) and its iridoids on blood fluidity, i.e, their influence on blood aggregation and fibrinolysis. The results showed that MCF extract inhibited polybrene-induced erythrocyte aggregation and thrombin activity. The fibrinolytic activity of MCF extract, in the euglobulin lysis time test and fibrin plate assay, is reported for the first time. One of the active compounds was identified as an iridoid glycoside, asperulosidic acid. Asperulosidic acid was reported to suppress melanogenesis and AP-1 transactivation and tumor cell transformation previously. This is the first report of the fibrinolytic activity of asperulosidic acid. The results indicated that Morinda citrifolia fruit and its iridoid are potentially useful health food ingredients which are capable of improving blood flow and preventing lifestyle-related diseases.