Slippery fish, slippery blood

Question: My doctor wants me to take Coumadin to thin my blood. Are there any natural alternatives that do the job as well, but with fewer side effects?

Dr. Wright: Cod liver oil (or any other fish oil) is a very effective natural alternative to Coumadin. It works by making blood platelets so slippery that they can't stick together to form a clot. And, unlike Coumadin, the worst "side effects" associated with fish oil are its taste (although there are more pleasant-tasting varieties available) and potential gastrointestinal upset if the whole dose is taken all at once.

I usually recommend 2 to 3 tablespoons of fish oil per day. And any time I recommend fish oil, I also recommend extra vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols), to prevent the oils from oxidizing too rapidly in the body. Take 800-1,000 IU of vitamin E along with the other fish oil each day. The total daily amount can be split up into two or three doses, to avoid the possibility of the gastrointestinal upset I mentioned above.

But before switching over to cod liver oil, it's important to consult a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine to develop a plan that is best for your particular needs.

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About the author


Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. has degrees from both Harvard University (cum laude) and the University of Michigan. More than any other doctor, he practically invented the modern science of applied nutritional biochemistry and he has advanced nutritional medicine for nearly three decades.

As of today, Dr. Wright has received over 35,000 patient visits at his now-famous Tahoma Clinic in Washington State.

To learn more about Dr. Wright, and to sign up for his free Health e-Tips eLetter, please visit


Anonymous's picture


i find fish oil and vitamin E are the best suplaments anyone can take. It comes in capsule form now so you do not have to tast it but I have heard that the oil itself keeps your throat healthy and relives sinus infection Vitamin E has been a blesing to me as it has relived leg pain for years. Thanks so much for sharing this as it can help so meny..

Anonymous's picture

Wondering Woman

Everything I have checked Dr. Wright out on so far has been
very good advice. But I wonder if vitamin E alone wouldn't do the same alone. If not, why do they give advice to stop taking
vitamin E a week or two before any scheduled surgery? I am taking a couple of fish oil capsules twice a day for other purposes, but take 800 to 1200 IU's vitamin E also for anti clotting and other purposes.

Anonymous's picture


Does the fish oil have to be in liquid form, or will 3-omega capsules work just as well?

Thanks, -DBF-

Anonymous's picture


Okay - so this isn't about humans and cod liver oil - but we adopted a very sick 2 yr old boxer about 6 months ago. She had enlarged lymph nodes everywhere, corneal ulcers, rolls of excess skin, a "saddle back", and a very dull, rough coat. She now eats a whole foods diet with lots of protein, good fats, including a Tbsp of Carlson cod liver oil daily. The vet said she's never seen a dog transform as quickly and completely as this dog. Her eyes are bright (ulcers gone), lymph nodes normal, saddleback gone, rolls replaced by muscle, and her coat is shiny and soft. She's a show-stopper. It just goes to show what a whole foods diet and fish oil can do (along with alotta love) - for humans too!

Anonymous's picture


I am currently on 5 mg of warfarin daily and looking for an alternative. I have protein C deficiency and my doc told me that this is the only med for my disorder because others are for arteries not veins. Does the fish oil work on veins? Also, Im not sure how many softgels is required. You say 2 to 3 tablespoons. How many softgels (IU) is that? Also I have had clots in my legs and lungs and haven't had a problem with clots for 2 years but I cant take the side affects anymore and my 18 year old daughter has been diagnosed with protein C deficiency also and has even worse side effects than I do. Im looking for any qualified feedback i can get.

Anonymous's picture

Sumajean C.N.C

Lori, you always seem right on the money!! As far as Questions about warfarin and what else to take! the fish oils
are great for Blood Thinning, you have to take enough tho! If on Coumadin you have to start very slow and be checked out to see if the blood get too thin! Also, there is a Japanese Food
comes in a capsule called Nattokinese, which has lots of research and compares to that Rat Poison (warfarin) Also for Bllod Clots, I have my client who is also building blood cots all over his body, on Chokeberry, has a lot research on this one for blood clots. Also, a more of Acidic Blood Stream, could be building those clots. There are also Nutritionals & Herbals that will purfiy the Blood. Dr. Spreen, and Dr. Wright, my Guru of 45
yrs will attest to that.
Suma G Nathan,Certified Registered Holistic Nutritionist/Certified Chinese Herbologist/Holistic Health Practitioner/Journalist 30 yrs professionally

Anonymous's picture


Sumajean - our dog was diagnosed with lymphoma not quite 3 months ago. We knew this was a probability given the fact that she was malnourished and sick from birth. So I've added krill oil w/astaxanthin (1500 mgs), medicinal mushrooms, ubiquinol, more D3, K2, vit E, some chinese and western herbs for liver function, etc., maritime pine bark (pycnogenol) and a couple of other food supplements. Amazingly, she's actually doing even better than before the diagnosis. Her energy is through the roof, and her doggie instincts are at an all time high. Her tear ducts have even fully developed! The vet is documenting her case because he's never had someone take nutrition to this level and her progress is remarkable. This has taught me that if one is deficient, nutrition needs to be bumped up way above and beyond what would be considered "supplemental". I'm realistic in terms of her prognosis, but who knows? Now if we could only get human doctors to understand the role of nutrition...!!

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