• Kyodo

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Lemons may help to prevent airplane passengers from developing deep vein thrombosis on long flights, a condition known as “economy-class syndrome,” a research group at Nagoya-based Tokai Gakuen University said Wednesday.

Tests covering 13 people suggested two substances found in lemons — citric acid and lemon polyphenol — curb blood clotting and help blood travel through veins smoothly, said the head of the group, Sukie Nishibori, a professor in the university’s Junior College Division.

The group plans to release the results at the Japanese Society for Food Science and Technology meeting next month, according to Nishibori.

The potentially fatal formation of blood clots in deep veins occurs in people who sit for long stretches in narrow spaces, such as economy-class seats in airplanes.

The research subjects each drank 60 ml of a beverage containing 50 percent pure lemon juice, she said.

The researchers found that blood traveled in veins an average of 19 percent faster after consuming the beverage.

Nishibori advised flight passengers to drink lemon beverages, instead of water, once every five hours.

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