Natural products and heart attack

Ginkgo biloba and heart disease

The problem with taking aspirin alone to prevent either a heart attack or stroke is that aspirin does nothing to strengthen the blood vessel itself. And, weakened blood vessels usually accompany atherosclerosis, especially in smokers. with the blood thinned and the wall of the vessel weakened, you have the perfect set-up for a brain hemorrhage. So what should you do?

We know that several natural products thin the blood and strengthen blood-vessel walls. Once of the most useful is the herb, Ginkgo biloba. Several components in the Ginkgo extract inhibit platelet-activating factor (PAF) in the same way that aspirin does. Unlike aspirin, Ginkgo also contains numerous flavonoids that protect the weakened vessel from further damage by free radicals. In addition, it directly strengthens the collagen and elastin in the blood vessel walls.

Other natural products have the same effect. Pycnogenol and grape-seed extract, bind tightly to the collagen in blood vessels, protecting it from further damage both by free radicals and an enzyme called collagenase. These products have also have been shown to inhibit stress and smoking-related platelet activation, that is, clotting of the blood at sites of blood vessel injury. At a does of 100 mg, pycnogenol was found to be extremely effective in preventing platelet activation, but did not increase bleeding, as was seen with aspirin.

Health and Nutrition Secrets (that could save your life), Dr Russell L. Blaylock, MD

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