How to Keep Blood Healthy & Reduce Risk of Blood Clots

By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.

Your body is extremely smart, and I’m not talking about your IQ. One such demonstration of this remarkable intelligence in action is your body’s response to a cut…You bleed for a moment and then the bleeding stops. That’s the body’s blood clotting intelligence in action, a rapid biochemical response that initially creates a plug at the spot where a blood vessel has been injured, followed by tissue repair and rebuilding.

You never have to think about this response. The body does it automatically. It summons to the site a conglomeration of blood cells, platelets (small sticky cells), and a protein called fibrin to form a mesh to stanch the flow.

Such clotting, or coagulation as it is called, is a natural and necessary defensive mechanism designed to stem blood loss.

The Best and Worst Foods for Circulation and Blood Flow

However, many people develop clots unrelated to this self-protective process following a wound. Their blood clots abnormally, raising the danger of a clot flowing into the blood stream. If that happens, their health and even their life can be at risk for a number of reasons:

1. A common arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation involves abnormal cardiac contractions in which clots can form in the left atrium, one of the chambers of the heart. The danger is that a clot will flow out of the heart and block an artery to the brain or inside the brain, causing a stroke.

2. In coronary heart disease, an artery to the heart develops plaque along its inner lining and if a piece of the plaque breaks off, a clot will form around the breakaway piece. The clot can then flow towards the heart and, at some point, become stuck and block the blood flow. This can happen in one or more of the vital coronary arteries. When the ever-pumping heart muscle fails to receive enough of a blood supply the result could be chest pain or a heart attack.

3. Clots that form in your legs are known as deep vein thromboses. They can cause local pain and swelling. However, such clots may migrate up in the body, reach the lungs and block an artery there, causing sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, or a bloody cough. If not treated promptly, the situation could be fatal.

Hypercoagulable blood, that is, thickened, clot-prone blood can develop as a result of chronic inflammation in the body. Conditions associated with excessive blood clotting include arterial disease (atherosclerosis), high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, being overweight or obese, smoking, and immobility, where you don’t stand or walk for hours at a time, such as on a long trip or after surgery.

There could also be a genetic glitch.

And, surprisingly, there might also be an increased blood clotting risk from the frequencies emitted from cell phones. That’s the conclusion of a small, but eye opening 2015 study conducted by the Weston Price Foundation in Washington D.C. According to the foundation, the study revealed a clumping effect (thicker blood) through darkfield microscopic analysis of blood samples taken from ten healthy individuals who carried a cellphone in receiving mode in a backpack for 45 minutes. Such changes, the report concluded, “are frequently observed in ill persons or those eating less-than-optimal diets.” The foundation is dedicated to dietary education and research primarily related to the importance of healthy animal-based fats. The subjects in the study were said to spend on average 1.2 hours per day using a cell phone. More research is obviously needed, but the finding here is troubling. It certainly adds to the growing evidence of health risks from cell phone usage.

How to Prevent Blood Clots

  • See a physician right away if you develop pain and redness in a leg, a possible signs of a deep vein thrombosis.
  • Drink plenty of water to help maintain the fluidity of your blood.
  • Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates (such as white flour, pasta, bagels, bread) and sugar, including sugary snacks and sodas. These types of foods increase the level of glucose (blood sugar) and insulin, and contribute to an inflammatory, pro-clotting state in the body.
  • Take targeted nutritional supplements that have a blood-thinning effect, such as garlic, nattokinase (an enzyme derived from the Japanese food, natto), and omega-3 fatty acids like fish or squid oil.
  • When traveling on a long flight, get up and out of your seat every hour or so and walk the aisle. Do toe raises in your seat, pumping your calves, and stimulating lower extremity blood flow. Don’t drink alcohol and caffeine on the flight. They are diuretics. You’ll urinate more, contributing perhaps to thicker blood. On long drives, stop the car every hour and get out to stretch and walk. Same thing if you work long hours at a computer. Take frequent breaks just to get up and move around. Pump your calves often when you are seated.
  • Doctors will prescribe a blood thinner to prevent clots if you have been diagnosed with a clot-related problem. They’ll do so as well after a hip or knee replacement to minimize the chance of clots forming in the legs when you are recuperating and inactive. I took a blood thinner temporarily when my hip was replaced in 2010.
  • Reduce your use of cellphones and turn them off when not in use. I have been warning about the potential health risks for years.

A Most Unusual Blood Clot Prevention Strategy

While blood thinning medicines may be necessary to prevent clots from forming, there’s another way to support healthy blood right beneath your feet – the subtle, electric charge of the Earth itself. That’s right. All you have to do is make bare skin contact with the ground, either by spending time barefoot outdoors or using specially conductive sheets, mats, or bands indoors that are connected to the Earth. The concept is known as Earthing, or Grounding.

I regard grounding as the one of the greatest health discoveries I’ve come across in my nearly four decades of medical practice. In a 2013 study I participated in, we tested the effect of grounding on blood viscosity, that is, the thickness of the blood. In cardiology, we know that thicker blood is associated with many cardiovascular conditions, including diabetes – the thicker the blood the greater the tendency to clot.

In our study, we took ten healthy subjects and put electrode patches on the bottom of their feet and palms. The patches where connected by wires to a ground rod placed in the soil outside. The changes seen under a microscope from blood samples taken before and after two hours of grounding were remarkable. We found that when people are grounded, their blood flow improves significantly and that red blood cells are much less prone to clump together. The difference was like blood changing from sludgy ketchup to smooth flowing red wine.

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© 2015, 2019 HeartMD Institute. All rights reserved.

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15 Comments

  1. Sharon

    on March 13, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Thank you. I had a heart attack three months ago, and I am so grateful for all of the information you so freely share.

  2. Christine Ellis

    on March 13, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    Do you know anything about Japanese Nattokinase

  3. Christine E.

    on March 13, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    How do you take it. When do you take it. How muck do you take.
    Lipoprotein A is up to 789. Cannot find Dr in Canada who will take this seriously .

  4. Rog C.

    on March 14, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Hi, I had blood clots then pneumonia. I took massive doses of vitamin C and the doctors were amazed how I came through.
    Now I am on Xarelto (Rivaroxaban). I’ve read great things about pine pollen being a better protector against blood clots than aspirin. Have you any info on this please?
    Regards,
    Roger C.

  5. Susan

    on March 14, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    Is there a grounding mat that you recommend? Thank you.

  6. Marlene Fleure

    on March 15, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Thank you Dr. Sinatra for your valuable information on BLOOD CLOTS. May you be richly blessed to continue giving us valuable information on our health.

    Marlene
    Customer of yours.

  7. Clayborn Taylor

    on March 15, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    How about a daily aspirin to help thin the blood? Is it helpful?

  8. Maybritt U.

    on March 15, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Dear Dr. Sinatra –
    We take your CoQ10 and other products. I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my right lung Dec. 2018 and they put me on 20 mg of Zarelto. They say I have to take it for the rest of my life because I had a blood clot in my left leg in 2014 as well. Why can’t I get a lower dose, and why the rest of my life? Besides they are ridiculously expensive. I panic if I forget to take one with my evening meal and get up in the mid-night to take it (I also have to eat then). Does Zarelto cause me to lose weight? We have been on a low carb-sugar diet for over a year and I have lost 27 pounds. I feel good, besides my arthritis, (they also say I can’t take lots of things like Osteo-Biflex, fish-oil, turmeric, etc for the arthritis because it interferes with the Zarelto. Good grief ! Help ! Isn’t there an alternative thing I can do?

  9. Lorne Bay

    on March 20, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Hi, I was on Xarelto for about 3 years and it stopped working. When my leg started swelling again, I was sent to the emergency ward of the hospital last December. I am now on Warfarin on which the dose is still being adjusted (6mg). Is there any way of getting the blood clots to be reduced or removed? Thanks

  10. JOHN PRINDLE

    on April 1, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    Hi, I recently started taking 150mg of MK-7. Does MK-7 affect blood clotting or prevent strokes? Thanks

  11. HeartMD Editor

    on April 2, 2019 at 11:57 am

    Hi John,
    Vitamin K activates proteins that play a role in blood clotting. Vitamin K2 shuttles calcium into your bones where it belongs and stops calcified plaque from stacking up in your circulatory system. This plaque reducing affect can be helpful in stroke prevention. You can learn more here: https://www.drsinatra.com/vitamin-k2-supports-healthy-circulation.

  12. Eileen K

    on May 5, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    I have been taking your NATTO product for years, and when I went to re-order this month, found out it is no longer available… I has helped me so much since my issue with blood clots. What do you recommend as a replacement for ths wonderful product?

  13. HeartMD Editor

    on May 9, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Hi Eileen,
    You are correct, the Natto was discontinued at Healthy Directions, http://www.DrSinatra.com. We apologize for any inconvenience. We don’t have any particular brand recommendation, however you should be able to find a new source online.

  14. Eileen K

    on May 9, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Thank you for your response. I will miss your product. I am also taking the Omega plus with Resveratrol, but see that there is a newer product. What is the difference.?

    Thanks, Eileen K

  15. Cecil Raleigh

    on September 7, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I have been taking Omega Q Plus for over 15 years and Omega Q Plus Resveratrol and tumeric for another 3 years. I recently had a distal RCA blockage although my total cholesterol levels were good the LDL’s were a little high. So, I am not so sure that this product was effective in keeping my blood thin and preventing a blood clot. My cardiologist took me off this product and all fish oil after I received a stent. I am an active person and walk about 2 miles almost every morning even before this incident. So, for folks out there that think they are protected from artery blockages from taking this product, be very cautious.

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