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WHAT IS IT? Sirco is a health aid fruit juice drink, available in two flavours: Apple and Blueberry, or Orange, which claims to thin the blood. This improves blood flow, promoting a healthy heart and reduces the likelihood of heart attack, stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It does NOT reduce cholesterol, but diminishes the likelihood of blood platelet aggregation ie blood clots. In theory, if you are at risk of the above ailments and drink this as well as following cholesterol-reducing regime/take cholesterol-reducing drugs/drinks, your risk should be significantly decreased. Made by Provexis Natural Products Ltd, London. "Scientifically proven". Approved by health charity HEART UK.
WHAT'S IN IT? Sirco contains a "bioactive" substance the manufacturers call "Fruitflow", extracted from ripe tomatoes. The body absorbs this more readily than merely eating many whole tomatoes. It is destroyed by heat when manufacturing tomato concentrates so these won't provide the same benefit either.
Full ingredients: water, 15% apple juice (from concentrate), 6.5% blueberry juice (also from concentrate) 1.5% blueberry puree, sucrose, glucose-fructose syrup, Fruitflow (bioactive tomato extract), citric acid, "natural flavouring", plus some Vitamin C (50% of RDA per 100ml). As the extract is all-natural, there are no side effects. Sirco is naturally fat free, cholesterol free, only trace salt, no artificial sweeteners, flavourings, preservatives or colourings. Do NOT drink if allergic/sensitive to tomatoes. Sirco say diabetics can apparently drink this if they are following a healthy diet (?) as it is medium GI. 50 calories per 100 ml.
PRICE Usually approx £2.19 per litre. Expensive, given dosage required. Ocada/Waitrose have 50p off right now (12.3.06): as ever your local deals may vary.
PACKAGING AND AVAILABILITY Litre sized Tetrapak with screw top, purple or orange pack depending on fruit, with SIRCO flash and fruit pix on white circle. Ingredients etc on side. I ordered it from Ocada, but have seen it in the chiller cabinets (juices) at Waitrose, and Tesco and Sainsburys allegedly stock it.
DOSAGE One cold 250 ml glass per day (125 calories). The beneficial effect, which should start from day one, lasts roughly 24 hours so this is an everyday job. Expensive habit, so presumably only if you can afford it and GP recommends it. Drinking more than the recommended levels will not bring greater benefits.
TASTE I only purchased the Apple and Blueberry flavour, and struggled to down half a glass. A small survey of former friends in my kitchen confirmed that to put it politely, this tastes like cooked apple and blackberry pie, minus pastry, plus tomatoes and something else, can't put our fingers on it, but definitely savoury. I was too disgusted to try the Orange version so leave this to a hardier reviewer than I. It might be much better, but my guess is you'll only tolerate this if you are desperate ie under doctor's orders. This does not taste remotely like any pure fruit juice you have tried before (because it isn't mere fruit juice) or any fruit squashes etc. Thickish consistency.
WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN? No way, come what may. However, if you have reason to believe you are at risk of heart attack, stroke or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (perhaps a long haul flight is on the agenda?) then consult your doctor, and Sirco's website FAQ (in whichever order) before buying to establish whether this is for you. There may be easier and cheaper ways to obtain same benefits.