Blood Clotting Disorder Treatment Vitamin Supplements

Research suggests that some vitamin supplements can help people who are at risk for developing blood clots. By adding these supplements to your daily diet, you can theoretically decrease your chances of getting a blood clot and keep your circulation system healthy.

A healthy lifestyle, in addition to taking vitamin supplements, is a much better way to prevent cardiovascular disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. A heart-healthy diet integrates many nutrients that help your body fight blood clots. Staying active will help your body absorb vitamins and supplements.

Before adding any supplements to your diet, discuss them with your doctor.

Blood Clots Explained

A blood clot — or a thrombosis — is a gathering or mass of blood particles in a vein or artery. Most blood clots are normal. Without them, you would bleed uncontrollably with every injury. If a blood clot develops in a vein or artery, however, it can block the oxygen that’s normally delivered to the area. Blood clots in the heart or lungs can cause heart attacks, while blood clots in the brain can cause strokes. Blood clots can also develop in the legs and travel to the lungs, heart or brain, causing damage that is sometimes life threatening.

Vitamin E

Some studies done by the American Heart Association suggest that women who take vitamin E supplements can decrease their chances of experiencing blood clots. However, this doesn’t mean that adding vitamin E to your diet will magically decrease your chances of getting a blood clot. To see the benefits of vitamin E, you should also follow an active and healthy lifestyle.

To add vitamin E to your diet, add the following foods to your diet:

  • Almonds
  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Olives
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tomatoes.

Taking too much vitamin E can inhibit the absorption of iron in your body. Talk to your doctor about how much vitamin E to add to your diet.

Vitamin K

For individuals taking Coumadin®, consuming foods rich in vitamin K can increase the risk of blood clots. When on Coumadin® therapy, avoid consuming too much vitamin K, found in:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Coriander
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Liver
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard.

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin K is 65 micrograms for women and 80 micrograms for men.

Preventing Blood Clots: Other Supplements

Other vitamin supplements and some herbal remedies may help improve the circulation system, lowering the possibility of blood clots. Look for some of these supplements in your local nutrition store:

  • Calcium
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Fish oils
  • Lecithin
  • L-lysine
  • Vitamins B12, B6 and C
  • Witch hazel, applied as a topical solution.

Supplements: Things to Keep in Mind

People at risk of developing blood clots shouldn’t try to treat themselves with a vitamin regimen, nor should they stop taking any prescribed anticoagulant medications without first talking to a medical professional. Discuss all medications and supplements, whether herbal, vitamin or mineral, with your doctor before deciding to take them.

Resources

Herbs2000 (n.d.). Thrombosis and embolism. Retrieved September 24, 2007, from http://www.herbs2000.com/disorders/thrombosis_embolism.htm.

National Standard. (n.d.). Vitamin K for patients with blood clots. Retrieved September 24, 2007, from http://blog.naturalstandard.com/natural_standard_blog/2007/04/vitamin_k_for_p.html.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Vitamin E may reduce blood clots in women. Retrieved September 24, 2007, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_54635.html.