Fibrinogen is a coagulation-type protein that determines the stickiness of your blood.
You need adequate fibrinogen levels to stop bleeding when you’ve been injured, but higher-than-normal fibrinogen levels have been associated with too much blood clotting, which can lead to poor blood circulation. This is one of the many independent heart risk factors you should be aware of.
Know the Risks of a High Fibrinogen Level
By itself, a high fibrinogen level can cause the abrupt formation of a coronary thrombosis—the old-fashioned diagnosis we used to write down for a heart attack.
If you have a family history of cardiovascular problems, you must check your serum fibrinogen level to predict your individual risk. And because the tendency toward a high fibrinogen level can be a genetic trait, be sure to assess your fibrinogen level if any close relative has coronary atherosclerosis. Additionally, women who smoke, take oral contraceptives, or are post-menopausal usually have higher fibrinogen levels and should also get this simple test done. The healthy range is 180–350 mg/dL.
Tips to Maintain Healthy Fibrinogen Levels
- Eat cold-water fish a few times a week and/or take 1–2 grams of fish oil daily
- Take 500–1,000 mg of garlic (in capsule form) and/or 600 mg of bromelain
- Drink ginger and/or green tea
- Take 100 mg of nattokinase daily
And, of course, adhere to a healthy cardiovascular nutrition program to keep your fibrinogen level at a healthy level.
Caution: If you are taking Coumadin, aspirin, Plavix or any combination of these blood-thinning agents, you should not take nattokinase or garlic because you could thin your blood too much.