Elevated fibrinogen level
Blood clots lead to heart attacks and strokes – killing more than 600,000 Americans every year. Fibrinogen is a principal clotting protein crucial when we are injured, but levels that are too high will also increase the likelihood of a blood clot forming and rapidly developing. When you have elevated fibrinogen levels, the balance is tipped in the favor of unnecessary – and potentially deadly – blood clot formation. Fibrinogen can also lodge in artery walls to promote atherosclerosis.
A healthy fibrinogen level would be less than 300 mg/dL. A recent study has shown that for every 100 mg/dL increment above this, you will nearly double the likelihood of having coronary heart disease. Another study showed that it may be the only independent predictor of dying from a heart attack, as it highly correlated with those who passed away within forty-two months of having one.
Foods high in fat and refined starches are the first building block that raises fibrinogen levels. Inactivity is a second one. Too much estrogen as well as excess homocysteine (which interferes with the natural breakdown of fibrinogen) will also increase it. Oddly enough, being cold also encourages its production.
The Mediterranean diet is again a great place to start in keeping fibrinogen levels where they should be. Low dose (81 mg) aspirin taken with food will help prevent blood clots. Again, limit foods high in saturated fats, and avoid trans fats. Also the following supplements are recommended:
• Pharmaceutical grade fish oil
• Pine bark and/or grape seed extract, or OPCs
• Bromelain extract
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