To Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke Go Natural (and Forget an Aspirin a Day)

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K is for klotting – which doesn’t really start with a ‘k’, but it’s what I want to write about. Many people take an aspirin a day to prevent stroke and heart attack based on aspirin’s ability to thin the blood and prevent blood clots.

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Most alternative doctors have been against aspirin for a long time because it damages the stomach lining and causes kidney and liver damage. Aspirin is responsible for a significant number of emergency room visits because it causes gastrointestinal bleeding.

New studies are now showing that an aspirin a day actually increases risk of stroke and heart attack in 40 percent of the people who take it. Research is also showing that long term use of aspirin increases your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts by as much as 44 percent.

Aspirin is recommended because it thins the blood and keeps dangerous clots from forming. However, there are much safer things to take than aspirin that perform as well or better without the negative side effects.

The first of these is nattokinase – a fibrinolytic enzyme that breaks down fibrin. Fibrin is a blood protein that forms long sticky strands and clots that is normally inhibited by the enzyme plasmin. As we age, the body’s production of plasmin decreases and we become more prone to thick, sticky blood that has a tendency to clot.

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September 15, 2009