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Onions "help prevent CVD"

Eating onions rich in flavanoids could help to reduce early signs of heart disease, research shows.

Experts say that the flavanoid quercetin, mainly found in onions, apples, tea and red wine, can help prevent chronic inflammation leading to cardiovascular disease.

This is the first study to assess concentrations of quercetin that can be achieved in the blood after eating quercetin-rich foods.

Experts analysed the compounds that enter the bloodstream after quercetin is eaten, absorbed and metabolised and then used them to treat cells in a model of atherosclerosis.

They found that a lower dose of quercetin, that found naturally in foods, has a greater impact than a higher dose.

Eating a large amount of fruit and vegetables, rich in natural flavanoids, can also help to prevent cardiovascular disease.

"We can confirm that eating quercetin-rich foods may help prevent chronic inflammation leading to cardiovascular disease," said study author Paul Kroon.

The research is published in the journal Atherosclerosis.