AF Association
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Anticoagulant Alternatives

In a recent post “Is there a natural aspirin alternative?” was the following comment by Dave1961. I added a comment but did not get much feedback so please excuse me for posting this again in the hopes of getting more.

Dave1961 comment -- The following is an article I found which does a great job describing the difference between anti-platelets and anticoagulants, the different kinds of clots and also natural substances which have antiplatelet and/or anticoagulant properties.

In the reference noted above are the following statements:

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart, to the legs and arms, the organs in the abdomen, and the brain. Blood clots which form in arteries lead to stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke), heart attack, peripheral arterial clot and gangrene, or infarcts in the internal organs (e.g. kidney, spleen, intestine).

Veins are the blood vessels that carry blood back to the heart from the extremities, the abdomen, and the brain. Blood clots which form in the deep veins of the body lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

Anti-platelet = potentially most effective for arterial clot prevention

Anticoagulant = potentially most effective for venous clot prevention

Fibrinolytic = aids in dissolving clots, potentially both arterial and venous

Dietary supplement category - Possible clot prevention properties (The article details how the following have an effect so please read it. )

Salicylate-containing - anti-platelet

Coumarin-containing – anticoagulant (Not warfarin but warfarin has this in it.)

Vitamin E - anti-platelet, anticoagulant

Vitamin D - anticoagulant

Fish oil (omega 3 fatty acid) - anti-platelet, fibrinolytic

Garlic - anti-platelet

Nattokinase - fibrinolytic

Chocolate -anti-platelet

Evening prime rose oil - anti-platelet, anticoagulant

Lumbrokinase - fibrinolytic

It is my understanding that AF has the potential to cause arterial clots. Many people in this forum encourage anticoagulant use and so do doctors. If the statements above are true and anticoagulants are recommended for AF, am I to assume the blood in the atria is considered "vein" blood and not "artery" blood even though it is "artery" blood that causes strokes? I am probably missing something.

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Ignoring veinous or arterial for a moment, the clots which AF allow to form. do so within the left atrium or left atrial appendage. This is because whilst the atrium is fibrillating blood can pool there. These clots once ejected do of course end up in arteries and can therefore travel to the brain where they cause a stroke.

Now I have never come across the bit about aspirin being good for arterial clots. Antiplatelets have some use in clot prevention where for instance arteries feeding the heart may be partially occluded and therefore be useful in preventing "heart attacks". They are also of use where any foreign bodies may be present such as stents or artificial valves and this is one reason why aspirin was given such credence over many years. An aspirin a day keeps heart attacks at bay etc etc.

In AF, because the clots form in the heart itself they have the opportunity to become much larger so that when they do eventually break out the blockage that they form is much larger than anything that could have been prevented with aspirin. This is why AF related strokes are amongst the least recoverable and most damaging, sometimes leading to death within 12 moths. Only an anticoagulant has the ability to stop such large clots forming which is why recent changes to advice regarding aspirin have effectively taken it out of the equation for stroke prevention in AF. Interestingly it has also been suggested that it has only limited efficacy in preventing heart attacks. I know of many people who post such event may be on both aspirin and warfarin and this applies also to those with artificial heart valves. The use of anti-platelet here aids blood flow as it makes it less sticky in layman terms and can almost be called a blood thinner. This erroneous term seems to have become accepted for all such drugs including anti-coagulants which of course do not THIN blood which has the same viscosity before or after treatment.

I think the statement regarding which is best for veinous or arterial clots is miss-leading in the light of this and has never come across my radar before.


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I'm not on anticoagulants.

I do take a mini aspirin and have done for years, my decision.

I do take this now though.

The AFibbers site recommends it.



What do you mean by "The Affibers site recommends it"? Are you saying it's recommended by the AFA?

Has your doctor, cardiologist or EP endorsed your use of Nattokinase? Do they agree that it is effective or do they simply 'pass no judgement'? Is your blood pressure normal as a result of taking the natto enzyme. This is the prime effect that its marketeers claim.


AFibbers is a U.S. Site so nothing to do with the AFA. Take a look at it and see for yourself.

My EP says I am not to have anticoagulant as the risks outweigh the benefits for me.

My blood pressure is normal anyway, with or without supplements.

I also read as much as I can on AF and arrhythmia anywhere and everywhere, then make informed decisions myself to help myself. I would never blindly read a recommendation and follow that advice without my own research.



I've seen the articles on Nattokinase on the Afibbers site. Personally I don't believe them, there is some good info on that site but they really push supplements. I would be very careful about using it.

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Thanks, Bob for the insight.


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