Have Your Fibrinogen Levels Checked
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.
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 postmenopausal usually have higher fibrinogen levels and should also get this simple test done. The healthy range is 180–350 mg/dL.
To kee your fibrinogen levels in this range, here are four tips:
- 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.
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.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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