Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 December 2007
Diet plays an important role in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The growing perception that abnormal haemostatic processes of coagulation, platelet aggregation and fibrinolysis contribute to cardiovascular disease aetiology motivated this review on the relationships of diet, specific foods and nutrients with haemostatic function. Functional endpoints that reflect the function and status of some of these processes and which can be measured in dietary trials are identified. The effects of energy intake and expenditure, alcohol, total fat and specific fatty acids, non-starch polysaccharides (dietary fibre), antioxidant nutrients and some foods on a variety of haemostatic markers are reviewed. The results indicate that the prudent low-fat, high-fibre diet and maintenance of ideal body weight recommended to protect against and treat hyperlipidaemia and coronary heart disease will also benefit haemostatic profiles. It is concluded that more research on specific effects is needed for improved recommendations on a population level for prevention of cardiovascular disease.