blood clots

  1. Flavonoid rutin can prevent blood clots

    Rooting for rutin

    You hear a lot about the health benefits of flavonoids and how certain fruits and vegetables -- not to mention red wine and green tea -- are loaded with them.

    But you don't often hear too much about the benefits of specific flavonoids.

    I'm going to change that starting today, because we should get to know some of the flavonoids as well as we know the names of common vitamins.

    They're that important.

    So right now, let's take a look at a common flavonoid called rutin found in a wide range of seemingly unrelated fruits and vegetables, like apples and onions or citrus and asparagus.

    Like I said, there are plenty of ways to get it -- just make sure you do get it, because cutting-edge research shows that this incredible flavonoid can prevent blood clots.

    And that means it could help protect you from heart attacks and stroke -- two of the nation's leading causes of death.

    Researchers from Beth Israel hospital say they reviewed some 5,000 different compounds for the elements that could block a protein involved in clot formation, and found that rutin was "the champion."

    A series of tests on mice confirmed what the analysis had found -- a potentially powerful anti-clotting agent that's been all around us all along.

    Isn't that always the case?

    The research is obviously preliminary, but since other studies have found that rutin can boost circulation and stop platelets from clumping, the new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation is consistent with what we already know.

    And in addition to keeping your blood circulating, rutin may help with everything from hemorrhoids to varicose veins.

    You can get more rutin -- and other flavonoids -- by simply making sure you eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies every single day. It's also widely available as an inexpensive supplement.

  2. New blood thinner boosts heart risk

    Talk about missing the point!

    Blood thinners are supposed to reduce the risk of the blood clots that can lead to a heart attack or stroke -- but a new drug that's intended to slash the risk of stroke can actually increase the odds of a heart attack.

    That's not a benefit -- that's trading one deadly risk for another.

    The drug, called dabigatran but sold under the brand name Pradaxa, is most commonly given to atrial fibrillation patients, who have a higher risk of stroke to begin with.

    It's also the first in a series of new blood thinners specifically aimed at preventing strokes -- but there were problems with it right out of the gate: Even in the studies used to get it approved, that heart risk kept popping up.

    Now, a new analysis shows this wasn't just a fluke, as the drug's maker no doubt hoped, but a genuine threat that should have anyone thinking twice before popping these pills.

    And get this: While the drug is supposed to slash the risk of stroke by a third, the new numbers show that it increases the risk of heart attack and acute coronary syndrome by pretty much the same amount -- nearly a third -- when compared to the older blood thinners as well as a placebo.

    That's not the only serious problem with Pradaxa. This drug hasn't been on the market very long, but the FDA is already looking into reports of serious bleeding problems (being the FDA, however, you can bet that "look" is all they'll do).

    I'm sure this sounds like a win for warfarin and the older generation of blood thinners, but warfarin itself is so dangerous it's actually been used for years as a rat poison -- and patients who take it need to be closely watched, lest they end up like those rats.

    Like all blood thinners, warfarin can also cause serious bleeding problems, not to mention swelling, bruising, flu-like symptoms and more. It's even been linked to gangrene.

    It's nuts to take those risks when there are completely natural options on the table -- including ordinary fish oil, safe for men and mice alike.

    Talk to your doc before making any changes, but a skilled naturopathic physician can wean you off risky meds and help you find the right amount of your safe alternative.

    And you can leave the warfarin in the garage for the rats.

  3. Put some teeth in your heart health plan

    It turns out your mouth may play a bigger role in heart health than anyone could have imagined.

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