It is important to distinguish two classes or types of BLOOD CLOTS:

1   Those which occur in the veins of the body, most commonly in the legs, known as   VENOUS THROMBOSIS or thrombophlebitis.

2   Those which occur in the arterial system, sometimes leading to heart attack or stroke.

Irrespective of the location of the CLOT, there are almost always two predisposing factors:   sluggish circulation in the site of the CLOT and excess coagulation (stickiness) of the blood.

Blood coagualability is largely subject to prostaglandin metabolism within the body.   Prostaglandins are extremely potent hormones produced by most if not all tissues of the body.

In relation to blood vessels, the two most important prostaglandins are prostacyclin and thromboxane.  Prostacyclin coats the internal suface of the arteries, reducing the tendency of platelets to stick and cause BLOOD CLOTS.   It is the most potent inhibitor of platelets sticking together, as well as a potent dilator of blood vessels.  Thromboxane, in contrast, is produced by platelets for the purpose of initiating BLOOD CLOTS when the body is injured.   It has an intense activity in promoting the sticking together of platelets and constriction of blood vessels.

As long as prostacyclin and thromboxane are in balance, all is well, each serving a necessary purpose.   Problems of vascular disease and BLOOD CLOTS result only when the two become imbalanced, with increased thromboxane and/or decreased prostacyclin.

Fatty foods, which result in increased blood levels of lipid materials, increase blood viscosity and platelet stickiness.

Incidentally, most common vegetable oils appear to be just as active as animal fats in causing increased blood viscosity and platelet stickiness.  Both types of fat should be limited in prevention of vascular disease and BLOOD CLOTS.   However it is an entirely different matter with seafood and marine lipids, they have a profound effect in lowering blood viscosity.

Vitamin E reduces blood viscosity.   Aspirin is now an accepted medical therapy for prevention of both heart attacks and strokes.   However, the dosage is critical, given in usual therapeutic doses, it will inhibit both prostacyclin and thromboxane.   To reduce thromboxane production only, very small doses should be given ie 40 mg daily.


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