Question: My doctor wants me to take Coumadin to thin my blood. Are there any natural alternatives that do the job as well, but with fewer side effects?
Dr. Wright: Cod liver oil (or any other fish oil) is a very effective natural alternative to Coumadin. It works by making blood platelets so slippery that they can’t stick together to form a clot. And, unlike Coumadin, the worst "side effects" associated with fish oil are its taste (although there are more pleasant-tasting varieties available) and potential gastrointestinal upset if the whole dose is taken all at once.
I usually recommend 2 to 3 tablespoons of fish oil per day. And any time I recommend fish oil, I also recommend extra vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols), to prevent the oils from oxidizing too rapidly in the body. Take 800-1,000 IU of vitamin E along with the other fish oil each day. The total daily amount can be split up into two or three doses, to avoid the possibility of the gastrointestinal upset I mentioned above.
But before switching over to cod liver oil, it’s important to consult a physician skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine to develop a plan that is best for your particular needs.
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