Posted July 20, 2012: by Bill Sardi
Vitamin K, that essential but often avoided “blood clotting” vitamin that we consume in green leafy vegetables is generally not included in multivitamins and avoided by the many thousands of patients taking blood thinners. The “often-avoided” category speaks for the ongoing insanity within modern medicine.
About 1% of the adult population is affected by atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm (rapid disorganized heartbeats) that affects the top chambers of the heart. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk for a stroke by five-fold and accounts for about 15% of 700,000 strokes in the U.S. annually.
The mainstay therapy to prevent atrial-fibrillation-related strokes is to prescribe anti-vitamin K drugs (so-called vitamin K antagonists) such as coumadin (Warfarin) or aspirin. Compared to an inactive placebo tablet, coumadin or aspirin reduce the risk of stroke by 60-70% and reduce mortality by ~26%.
But those numbers are certainly nothing to brag about. Most of the people at risk for death from atrial fibrillation-induced blood clots, that are thrown from the heart and block circulation to the brain, still occur despite the use of blood thinners and exposes patients to the danger of bleeding from over-use of the drugs. While it is said that the benefits associated with the use of blood thinners outweigh these risks, a major bleeding episode occurs among 1.3% to 7.2% of patients given blood thinners annually. Since millions of Americans are taking these drugs, that represents thousands of drug-induced hemorrhages.
Bottom line, modern medicine treats atrial fibrillation as if it were a drug deficiency. When said this way, the use of these drugs sounds ridiculous.
New but more expensive blood thinning drugs are now being promoted and they slightly reduce the risk for a major bleeding episode from 1.60% to 1.27% per year. These drugs cost as much as $8 per day. They are not much more effective than coumadin in reducing mortality rates. Actually, this won’t be known till these drugs are used for many years.
While vitamin K-blocking drugs are effectively used to prevent strokes, they don’t address what causes atrial fibrillation. In fact, the use of vitamin K-antagonists such as coumadin and aspirin, has simply led to disease substitution. A shortage of vitamin K leads to weakened bones.
The most recent vitamin K science involves the remarkable discovery that vitamin K2 is an antioxidant of sorts and donates electrons like many well- known antioxidants. In particular, vitamin K2 works like ubiquinone (aka coenzyme Q10) inside cellular power plants called mitochondria. This is quite a revelation! Science Magazine noted this discovery with a special report entitled “Vitamin K Takes Charge.”
Examination of the medical literature conclusively shows that a deficiency of vitamin K leads to calcifications in the circulatory system and that the use of coumadin (Warfarin) in particular results in calcification of heart valves. And what appears to be the primary cause of atrial fibrillation? You guessed it –calcification of heart valves and pulmonary (lung) veins!
The evidence is replete that calcification is a predictor for atrial fibrillation. The use of vitamin K-blocking drugs is associated with coronary artery calcification. Are our doctors mindless? It appears the very drugs used to treat atrial fibrillation and prevent strokes actually worsen the risk for calcifications and induce atrial fibrillation!
The question arises, why don’t physicians utilize natural blood thinners that appear to be safer and more affordable? But these natural blood thinners have been unfairly demonized. Physicians have been advised to warn their patients taking blood thinners, specifically to avoid vitamin E, fish oil and garlic supplements which may complicate drug therapy.
But careful analysis shows that vitamin E can be safely taken with coumadin (Warfarin). Fish oils given in doses ranging from 3 to 6 grams (3000 to 6000 milligrams) per day does not seem to significantly alter the blood clotting activity among patients taking coumadin. In fact, it appears fish oil safely increases blood thinning when taking coumadin. Garlic also has undergone scrutiny and been found to be safe when taking coumadin.
Why does modern medicine continue to use problematic drugs that induce more disease when safer and more economical blood thinners are available? This author takes fish oil, garlic, vitamin E, magnesium, resveratrol supplements every day without ever over-thinning his blood. – © 2012 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.