Natural Medicine : Blood Clots
Causes of Accelerated Blood Clotting :
Overeating causes levels of the hormone insulin to rise. Insulin interferes with the mechanism that keeps
fibrinogen (a component of blood involved with blood clotting) levels low. Therefore, overeating
contributes to intravascular blood clotting.
Eating foods high in sugar increases the content of serotonin in platelets. It is known that platelets with
increased quantities of serotonin are more likely to have stickiness. Therefore, it can be concluded that
the use of large quantities of sugar in the diet would increase platelet stickiness and therefore increase
the likelihood of having intravascular clotting.
Saturated fats increase the risk of developing both venous and arterial blood clots.
High milk protein diet
Rats fed a diet high in milk protein were found to have an acceleration of the rate at which they made blood clots,
according to a study conducted at the University of Georgia at Athens. The researchers concluded that a
diet high in milk proteins caused sensitizing of the metabolic factors that might initiate clotting inside blood vessels.
Lack of exposure to sunlight
Some studies suggest that solar activity affects the blood system. The 11-year solar cycle and periodic
changes in solar activity may influence blood coagulation and anti-coagulation systems. Failure to be exposed to
sunlight has been thought to cause body systems to function less optimally.
Research suggests that the effect of sunlight on the blood coagulation system is generally favorable. Persons
who are at risk of intravascular clotting should be taught that failure to have exposure to sunlight may increase
the likelihood of intravascular clots.
Several studies have shown that as stress levels increase, the likelihood of increased platelet stickiness and
platelet aggregation also increases. The offending factor appears to be adrenalin.
Low free-fat diet
A diet low in free fats is a major factor in reducing the likelihood of developing blood clots. Foods
with free fats include margarine, butter, mayonnaise, fried foods, cooking fats, salad oils, and all
nut butters. Studies indicate that the more free fats one consumes, the greater the risk of blood clotting.
Lack of exercise also raises the risk of developing blood clots inside blood vessels. Studies have
shown that exercise increases the body's ability to dissolve blood clots that have already formed.
Recommended exercise programs consist of walking, jogging, and cycling for 45 minutes, five times a week.
More heart attacks occur in the morning than at other times of the day. Clot dissolving ability has
been shown to be lowest in the early morning and highest in the evening, according to a study conducted
at the University of Washington. Therefore, the most favorable time to exercise seems to be early in the
morning. When exercise is consistent, there is good evidence that there is round-the-clock protection
from blood clotting inside the veins.
Antioxidants are an important dietary factor that helps to slow blood clotting. Antioxidants are found principally in
fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Antioxidants include betacarotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium.
Another dietary factor is ajoene. Ajoene is produced when garlic cloves are chopped or crushed and then
heated. Ajoene has anti-platelet stickiness properties and inhibits platelet aggregation. Ajoene also inhibits
the formation of thromboxane A2 which can encourage clotting in certain circumstances.
Fresh peanut consumption has been found to decrease platelet aggregation and stickiness. The peanuts
should be quite fresh, however, as two to three year old peanuts can become rancid and cause actual
damage to the blood vessels.
Certain herbs may help prevent blood clots, including angelica, anise, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, ginkgo,
ginseng, meadowsweet, motherwort, myrrh, and turmeric.
Anticoagulant Medications :
Anticoagulants are medications used to treat and prevent blood clots. However,
studies have also raised the possibility that anticoagulants may actually increase the risk
of strokes in some patients.
Anticoagulant therapy may be helpful for certain types of plaques inside arteries. However,
the use of anticoagulants may increase the likelihood that a hemorrhage (bleeding) would occur
within the plaque. Therefore, in a sizeable percentage of people taking anticoagulants, their condition may worsen.