Natural Anticoagulants: Alternatives to Rat Poison

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH


Natural anticoagulants may be utilized instead of warfarinCoumadin (warfarin) is a blood thinner drug that has been used for the last 50 years to prevent blood clots in legs as well as to prevent strokes. Unlike natural anticoagulants, it has quite a toxic history. It was originally used as a rat poison in early wars to cause fatal bleeding. While the drug was able to prevent a potentially fatal blood clot, it can also increase the risk in hemorrhagic stroke and other bleeding disorders if taken long term. Normal coumadin therapy usually consists of titrating to maintain a anticoagulant range of 2.0-3.0 International Normalization Radio (“INR”) for 3-12 months. When the therapy is terminated, it is not uncommon to find that the blood clots return.

Recent researcher Paul Ridker did a study on the low dose long term use of coumadin . The study involved 508 patients with a history of blood clots who were given a low dose of coumadin and they were followed for a median of 6 months with the end point of maintaining the anti-coagulation range of 1.5-.25 INR. The patients in the study were divided them into 2 groups: one group received low dose coumadin and the other group received a placebo. The progress was monitored every 2 months and the data was reviewed once a year. After 4 years, the researchers ended the study earlier than intended when the data showed that a low dose coumadin program was able to significantly reduce venous blood clots without causing major bleeding episodes. 37 of the 253 patients receiving the placebo had recurring blood clots but only 14 of the 255 patients in the low dose coumadin group did. Furthermore, women receiving this drug showed a 80% reduction in the recurrence of venous blood clots while men receiving coumadin showed a 53% reduction. For those people who require blood thinning but cannot tolerate anything else, coumadin taken at low dose is much better than the regular dose. This study was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Natural Anticoagulants – Alternatives to Coumadin

Many people who are into natural compounds are reluctant to go on Coumadin therapy, and for good reasons. There are numerous natural anticoagulants including vitamin E, fish oil, and gingko that have blood thinning properties but unfortunately, they require very high doses. For example, it has been shown that 5-10 grams of EPA and DHA found in fish oil have the equivalent blood thinning activity as a 325mg aspirin. High doses of these supplements should not be taken without the supervision of a health care professional. Likewise, the use of vitamin E supplements as natural anticoagulants also requires a high dosage in the neighborhood of 2000-3000IU.

Other natural compounds that can help circulation, but not necessarily causes blood thinning, include natto, a compound extracted from fermented soy beans. Natto contains an enzyme called nattokinase which has the ability to dissolve thrombus and prevent clot formation.

Notes On Coumadin and Natural Anticoagulants With Regards to Adrenal Fatigue and the NEM Stress Response

It is very important to note that those who are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) or any imbalance in their neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response – whether the metabolic, hormonal, inflammatory, neuro-affective, cardionomic, or detoxification circuits ? be very careful with supplementation and changes in medication.

This is especially true if you are on blood thinning medication. Certain supplements, such as vitamin K, for example, adversely affect health when taken while on blood thinners such as Coumadin.

AFS is a condition where the adrenal glands are overworked due to chronic stress or other issues such as illnesses or toxicity, which are also a type of stress on the body. The adrenal glands secrete many different hormones, including the most important anti-stress hormone: cortisol. When they are not functioning optimally, the rest of the body?s systems, including the rest of the NEM stress response, are affected.

Vitamin E is one of the natural anticoagulantsSymptoms of adrenal fatigue include tiredness, sleep disturbances, low libido, mood issues, inability to handle stress, weight gain and brain fog. The cardiovascular system can also be impacted at more advanced stages, causing heart palpitations, atrial fibrillation and more.

All medications and supplements go through filtration by the liver once their job is complete. This is part of the NEM detoxification response, with the liver acting as the main clearance center, then the immune system, the lymphatic system, the kidneys and the extracellular matrix.

When the NEM?s detoxification response is not at its optimum, from excessive stress or workload, it will not be able to rid the body of toxins quickly or fully. This can cause build-up and oxidative damage.

Add to that other factors, such as unresolved metabolic dysregulation, also from chronic stress, leading to hypersensitivity to supplements and medications ? even those that were easily tolerated before – as well as other symptoms such as headaches, skin rashes and low immunity.

This is why if you are going through adrenal fatigue, or have some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, it is highly recommended that you do not change or add to your medications and supplements without first getting the right kind of supervision. Aggravating your condition and exhausting your adrenals can lead to serious deterioration in health, vitality and quality of life.

It might also be helpful to adopt a daily detox or go through a full detox as well as adhering to the adrenal fatigue diet as outlined in this article.


Natural anticoagulants

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