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Omega-3 and blood clotting

When arteries to the heart become narrow or blocked due to plaque build-up, doctors may try to surgically widen the artery in a procedure called balloon angioplasty. After surgery, blood clots are more likely to form, raising chances for heart attacks. To avoid this, doctors give blood-thinning medications, and in this study, wanted to test the anti-clotting capacity of omega-3.

Fifty-four men and women, average age 63, with stable coronary artery disease and a recent successful balloon antioplasty, took the standard anti-clot medications aspirin and clopidogrel, with or without 460 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid plus 380 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA) per day. Compared to those who did not take omega-3, the omega-3 group had fewer abnormal blood-clotting factors, better blood-clotting traits, and a more balanced and controlled clotting process. Doctors also observed less oxidative stress in the omega-3 group.

L-carnitine, blood clotting, and heart disease

People with chronic kidney failure who are on dialysis have increased chances of blood clots and heart disease. In this study, 36 participants on hemodialysis took 1,000 mg of L-carnitine per day, or a placebo. After 12 weeks, compared to the start of the study, while the placebo group had not improved, the L-carnitine group had lower levels of two key factors in heart disease: 41 percent lower levels of C-reactive protein–a sign of systemic inflammation–and less-elevated, more normal levels of fibrinogen, an inflammation-related blood-clotting agent.

Reference: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology; 2011, Vol. 31, No. 7, 1696-702.

From the December 2011 newsletter

Van's Health on January - 17 - 2012
categories: Supplements