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.
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 www.wrightnewsletter.com.