A major portion of the world’s population, at present, has a sedentary lifestyle. Their jobs and everyday activities are mostly desk-bound. However, sitting in place for hours can make them prone to several life-threatening conditions. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of them!
Deep vein thrombosis is the formation of blood clots in veins that are deep down our body. Most of the deep vein clots are found in the thigh or lower limb region. If the clot causes the vein to swell, the resulting condition is named as thrombophlebitis. Common symptoms of DVT include,
- Warmth and tenderness over the vein
- Pain or swelling in the part of the body affected
- Redness of the skin
Almost 900,000 adults in the U.S. develop vascular blood clots every year. Moreover, 1 out of every 9 patients loss life as a result. Sitting for longer periods and smoking are the active reasons for the situation. However, in many cases, excessive use of medicines also contribute to the formation of clots.
Scientists have been looking into natural treatments for the respective situation. They have come up with two natural extracts that can potentially prevent the onset of DVT, when taken together. These include,
- The French maritime pine
These two natural substances prevent the formation of clots in the first place. However, if a clot forms, they break it apart before it grows big enough to cause serious corporal harms. Moreover, the extracts increase the flexibility of the vascular walls and stimulate blood circulation within the smallest of the blood vessels.
Anticoagulants are the drugs usually given against clots. However, these synthetic medicines usually impose adverse effects on your body e.g. they can lead to severe internal bleeding. Maritime pine bark and Nattokinase extracts can serve as natural alternatives to anticoagulant drugs, keeping the side effects at bay.
Maritime pine bark extract improves blood circulation
The bark of the maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) produces an extract named Pycnogenol. It is rich in polyphenols, possessing high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
The extract causes vascular dilation and improves the circulation of the blood. It works by stimulating the enzyme that produces Nitric oxide in the vessels. Moreover, Pycnogenol reduces the risk of platelets to form clumps within vessels. Thus, it reduces the chances that a blood clot will form. In addition, the extract lowers the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome. It is a thrombosis-related complication characterized by blood accumulation in the legs. It can potentially cause discoloration, swelling, and even ulcers.
A study was conducted by researchers at Pescara University in 2011. It reported that pine bark extract improves cases of post-thrombotic syndrome. The participants of the study took the extract and demonstrated reduced swelling in their ankles and legs. The participants also stated that it was easier to comply with the extract-based treatment as compared to compression stocking treatments.
Nattokinase boosts the anticoagulant effects of pine bark extract
Natto is a popular Japanese superfood. It is a kind of paste that comes from fermented soybeans. It contains the enzyme “Nattokinase” which breaks down fibrin i.e. the primary protein used in blood clots. The enzyme works the same way for fibrinogen which is one of the ingredients that makes up fibrin.
Nattokinase prevents clotting of the blood by breaking down both fibrin and fibrinogen. Moreover, it comes with no side effects.
Nattokinase and pine bark extract both, when taken together, work best for DVT.
In 2003, a human trial-based study was conducted by G. D’Annunzio University. The researchers tested the herbal mixture on passengers taking a long flight. The passengers taking the mixture were able to avoid blood clotting incidents. Moreover, they experienced little swelling in the legs as well.
However, the researchers advise that along with taking the extract, the people who have to sit still for lengthy periods of time should take a break every hour. Stand up and walk for five to 10 minutes. This keeps the blood in your veins circulating.