Their dancing yellow flowers herald spring, while poet William Wordsworth famously wrote how, at the sight of a host of golden daffodils, “my heart with pleasure fills.” Now a Scottish university is examining how daffodils may hold other ‘heart-warming’ benefits and play a major part in helping to prevent cardiovascular disorders.

The joint research project is looking at the effects of natural compounds found in the stem, leaves, and petals of UK-grown daffodils and how they might form the basis of a new medical treatment for heart failure.

Initial findings from Agroceutical Products – a Wales-based pharmaceuticals company that uses daffodils for their bio-active properties – and Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University (RGU) have found specific compounds taken from daffodils have the potential to prevent thickening and stiffening of the walls of the heart.

When grown in certain environments, typically on higher ground, daffodils produce natural bioactive compounds known as alkaloids. In the study, three different alkaloids are being tested using cell-based models that mimic cardiac conditions to understand the different impacts they have on contributors to heart failure, such as fibrosis.

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