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Supplements for Blood "Thinning?"

Posted on June 27, 2019 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (16)

Alternatives to Low Dose Aspirin: It would be hard to find an herb, vitamin, food or activity that does not cause some degree of thinning of the blood, and this is usually a good thing. We want clotting to occur only when necessary, as when we have a cut or undergo surgery. Concentrated forms of garlic, ginger, & ginkgo can all have mild actions in the anti-clotting category. In the conventional medical community there will often be recommendations against using these when a patient is taking a prescription like Coumadin. But from an integrative perspective, one could argue for adjusting the dose of the drug to "accommodate" the activity of herbs & nutritional supplements(?) (I hear quite often about friends being discouraged from taking Omega-3 fish oil after having had a cardiovascular event & now taking baby aspirin & thinner, as well as other heart meds..)

In terms of Nutrients, there are two, in particular, that are "heart friendly" & capable of maintaining healthy blood flow, i.e., promote "fluidity: Vitamin E & Fish Oil. Vitamin E enables us to utilize reduced oxygen - altitude, artery narrowing, intense exercise, aging, etc. - more efficiently. Part of this "oxygen sparing" effect is due to its' role an a antioxidant; it helps LDL cholesterol from being "oxidized," a precursor to atherosclerosis. It is capable of pre-venting the occurrence of thrombosis, potentially even help dissolve a freah "clot." The best softgel form is one labelled "mixed tocopherol," particularly a high Gamma fraction. (Avoid the dl form, synthetic & not nearly as well absorbed)

In 1985, the New England Journal of Medicine published 3 landmark studies indicating that (oily) fish - sardines, anchovies, herring & salmon - was beneficial to the circulatory system. Omega-3 supplements, including the active components EPA & DHA, are used to treat elevated tryglycerides, the most common fats in circulation. EPA is a fatty acid used to produce hormone-like substances that reduce the stickiness of blood platelets, prevent clot formation & dilate vessels, as well as reduce inflammation, including joints. Like E, fish oil seems to make blood more "fluid," allowing it to pass through already narrowed vessels.

Consumption of these fish or supplements in more "therapeutic" amounts brings about a more favorable balance of the body's hormone-like chemicals, including Prostacyclin, which inhibits platelet binding.

Coming next: Magnesium (the most versatile & heart-friendly mineral!)