All seniors need to be aware of their blood clotting mechanism. If our blood clots too fast or too slow, we could have a medical emergency. It happens all the time.
When our blood sludges (thickens), we may not be able to get it thin fast enough to ward off a stroke or heart attack. It is better to err on the side of thin blood.
There are many natural blood thinners, but none of these have been known to cause overly thin blood. Each day I take fish oil, cod liver oil, Viobin, natto, garlic and gingko.
If you’re under the care of a doctor, they prescribe Heparin®, Warfarin® (Coumadin), streptokinase, and T-PA (tissue plasminogen activator.) And after most any heart procedure, Plavix® is the doctor’s drug favorite. They don’t tell us what Plavix® does to the skin. Coumadin increases the risk of bleeding under the skin and depletes the body of vitamin K which has an important natural blood clotting action.
Streptokinase has a very short-lived action and over time becomes less effective. Heparin® must be injected and it can lead to allergic reaction, high potassium blood levels, osteoporosis, low blood platelets and even hair loss. And a number of Heparin® batches were recalled last year. T-PA is only administered as an IV, is effective for a relatively short period and is very expensive.
Natural nattokinase (natto) is a favorite because it is packaged in very small capsules with no taste. It is a rich source of protein, vitamin B2 and vitamin K2. Mainly, it contains the enzyme natto. The enzyme natto has the ability to dissolve blood clots. This is known as fibrinolysis. The body produces an enzyme called plasmin which has fibrinolytic properties. But for a variety of reasons, its activity appears to diminish as we age. So the effect of natto is similar to plasmin, but research shows that it is four times more potent. It is a relatively safe clotbuster for most people. I love it because it has been used for at least a thousand years in Japan.
We need to be aware if we have an overactive clotting mechanism. It’s dangerous! It leads to a host of cardiovascular problems such as hardening of the arteries, heart attack, stroke, intermittent claudication (leg pain upon exerting), varicose veins and high blood pressure. It is also thought that an overactive clotting factor contributes to senility, infertility, impotence, hemorrhoids, eye conditions involving the retina and fibromyalgia.
The enzymatic activity of natto is not only fibrinolytic (dissolves blood clots), but also it is homeostatic. That is, not only does it break down existing clots, but it also works to prevent the formation of excessive amounts of fibrin and reestablish a healthy coagulation mechanism of the body.
Natto is a clotbuster but unlike pharmaceutical clotbusting agents, natto does not reduce the capacity of the body to form clots appropriately and quickly to stop bleeding. Pharmaceuticals thin blood to the point of hemorrhage—causing huge black bruised-looking places on the skin.
Coumadin depletes the body of vitamin K and therefore limits the capacity of blood to clot when it needs to.
Natto can be taken orally in capsule form that has a longer lasting action, costs less and has no negative side effects. In fact, it has positive side effects such as increased energy, new and better circulation, better vision, less joint and muscle pain and has been used to manage migraine headaches.
You can find natto at a natural supplement company.