What Can Double or Triple the Risk of DVT’s for Women?

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under At Home, At Work, featured, Health, Natural Medicine, Travel

The risk of blood clots and DVT’s are well publicized in relation to air travel, but what you may not be aware of is that just prolonged sitting around at home or the office can also be potentially life threatening – particularly for women.

New research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) shows that although the greatest risk factor for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is surgery, most people associate it with long-haul flights and the Pill but they could be tragically mistaken. The amount of time spent sitting every day – wherever you are – means you could be putting yourself at risk of developing potentially life-threatening blood clots.

This study was done in the USA, and found that women who sat for a long time every day had double or even triple the risk of a dangerous blood clot in the lungs.
While the women most at risk had sat for more than 41 hours a week (on top of their work hours), the research is the first to prove a sedentary lifestyle increases the dangers.

DVT is caused when the wall of a blood vessel is damaged through injury, such as a broken bone or surgery, or if the blood clots more easily than normal as a result of medication or genetics. They fact here though is that it can also be triggered by the blood flow slowing down considerably — such as when you’re immobile for a long time through lying or sitting down.

What Can Help?
First of all realistically monitor how much time you do spend sitting down and reduce it in simple ways. First of all bin the TV remote and get up to change channels, if you work at a desk or on a computer get up every hour and just move around for five minutes. If you have the choice of stairs or a lift, use the stairs for at least part of the way.

When travelling try to drive no more than two hours without a break, even if you just pull into a car park and walk round it for a few minutes. By air, it is not now frowned on to get up and walk round the plane, though your way may not always be clear it is worth the effort to avoid the duty free carts or if stuck in your seat try tensing and releasing the muscles in your buttocks, legs and feet. By curling or pressing the toes down, which causes the muscles to contract and squeeze on the leg veins, helps to pump the blood along. Another way to help move blood to the heart is to wear compression stockings, which put gentle pressure on the leg muscles as studies in healthy people have shown that wearing compression stockings minimizes the risk of developing DVT after long flights. Avoid socks, or knee highs for women that have very tight elastic bands at the top and do not sit with your legs crossed for long periods of time, which constricts the veins.

Keep the fluid flowing:
Sorry, not alcohol but you need to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration as this causes blood vessels to narrow and blood to thicken, increasing the risk for DVT. Reducing alcohol and coffee consumption, which both contribute to dehydration, is also recommended.

If water is not your thing there is also a new fruit juice which has been proven to benefit blood circulation. Sirco™contains a tasteless tomato extract, Fruitflow®, that has been scientifically proven to have heart and circulation health benefits because in several clinical trials it has been shown to help maintain a healthy blood circulation by preventing the “clumping” of blood platelets which can lead to blood clots. The blood platelet smoothing action of Sirco™ takes effect within 1 ½ to 3 hours from drinking it and lasts up to 18 hours and is suggested as a natural alternative to a daily aspirin that many people take for this action. It fits well into the healthy Mediterranean diet eithos and comes in two 100% pure fruit juices mixes; Pomegranate/Orange and Blueberry/Apple.

You should find it in your supermarket or local health store or go to www.sircoheart.com

Future Male Infertility Linked to Common Painkillers

November 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Health, Mens Health

Trying to start a family can involve many factors, but the overall health of both partners is critical. A new study throws another factor into the mix that cannot be ignored as its so common in society today.

The effect of Phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA as commonly found in plastics), and other environmental toxins has been well established as disrupting proper hormone function in humans which of course affects fertility. However, a new European study has revealed that common painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen have a far worse effect on the future reproductive health of boys.

Scientists from Denmark, Finland, and France recently published their findings in the journal Human Reproduction. Their study draws urgent attention to the serious dangers associated with painkillers as they have discovered that pregnant women who take painkiller drugs have a significantly higher risk of bearing baby boys with reproductive problems than pregnant women who do not.

Any painkiller drugs taken during the second trimester doubles the risk of having a baby boy with cryptorchidism, where the testicles do not properly descend due to inadequate testosterone production. The risk rises massively by 1600 percent if more than one painkiller is taken during the second trimester.

Dr. Henrik Leffers, senior scientist at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and author of the study explains: “A single paracetamol tablet [500mg] contains more endocrine disruptor potency than the combined exposure to the 10 most prevalent of the currently known environmental endocrine disruptors during the whole pregnancy. In fact, a single tablet will, for most women, be at least a doubling of the exposure to the known endocrine disruptors during the pregnancy and that dose comes on a single day, not spread out over nine months as with the environmental endocrine disruptors. Thus, for women using mild analgesics during the pregnancy, the mild analgesics will be by far the largest exposure to endocrine disruptors.”

This is a significant departure from the normal advice during pregnancy as taking painkiller at that time is largely considered to have no significant risks associated with it. In the study more than 57 percent of Danish mothers admitted in a telephone survey they used painkillers on a regular basis.

Male fertility is under threat in many areas: environmental toxins, excess estrogen in the food and water supply, and even laptop computers as they can heat male genitalia to temperatures so high that reproductive function becomes impaired.

If you want to start a family, or know someone who is pregnant, then please pass on this important warning.

You may also be interested to read the article by Dr Jeffrey Dach on Low Testosterone and Painkillers that you will find at my other site at www.bio-hormone-health.com

Daily Aspirin Use Linked to 5 Times Increased Risk of Crohn’s Disease

May 24, 2010 by  
Filed under featured, Health


A number of healthy people are taking a low dose aspirin on a daily basis as a preventive for heart disease, though it’s value has been disproven as recently was reported on the NHS website. Previous research work on tissue samples has shown that aspirin can have a harmful effect on the bowel and there is a reported risk of dangerous internal bleeding, though no beneficial effect on reducing the incidence of heart attacks or strokes, on doses of 100mg aspirin daily.

These are healthy people taking what they believe is valuable preventive action but it almost doubles the risk of dangerous internal bleeding compared to dummy pills (placebo), and if you are taking daily aspirin for a higher vascular risk then consult your doctor before stopping taking it, but there is now also a new risk associated with it, particularly if you have been doing so for over a year.

According to a new study led by Dr Andrew Hart at the University of East Anglia, in conjunction with 200,000 volunteers from the UK Sweden Denmark Germany and Italy, and are are they found that those taking aspirin regularly for a year or more were around five times more likely to develop Crohn’s disease. Further, the study also showed that aspirin use had no effect on the risk of developing ulcerative colitis — a condition similar to Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease is a serious condition affecting 60,000 people in the UK that is characterized by inflammation and swelling of any part of the digestive system. This can lead to debilitating symptoms and requires patients to take life-long medication. Some patients need surgery and some sufferers have an increased risk of bowel cancer.

Although this may seem a rather frightening link, the actual numbers of people contracting Crohn’s disease remains very low — only one in every 2000 users and further research is being carried out, particularly in relation to other potential causal factors including diet.

Fruit Juice Can Replace Low Dose Aspirin for Heart Health

March 9, 2010 by  
Filed under Health


Personally the daily use of low dose aspirin as a preventive for heart health has never really convinced me, and recent reports back that up. Researcher F. Gerald R. Fowkes, PhD, of the University of Edinburgh has found that “aspirin appears to have ‘marginal benefits’ for reducing initial cardiovascular events when used for patients without clinically evident CVD and is associated with higher rates of bleeding events in these patients” . There has been research showing that aspirin has some value in secondary prevention, but if you are looking for a natural alternative to reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots, I have some news for you.

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has revealed that Fruitflow, the tomato extract and active ingredient in Sirco™ fruit juice, is of proven benefit for healthy blood flow and effectively promotes heart health. It has several benefits of low dose aspirin as a natural alternative to thinning the blood, without side effects. For healthy blood flow you need to maintain normal platelet aggregation, because if they become ‘spiky’, they are much more likely to clump together, forming clots, which can cause high blood pressure, thrombosis, strokes and heart attacks.

Fruitflow, like aspirin, works by dampening signals that cause platelets to become spiky (platelet aggregation), preventing clots forming without the associated side effects of aspirin such as internal bleeding. An ongoing trial at the Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health, part of the University of Aberdeen, is comparing the effects of both Fruitflow® and aspirin on a single dose basis over a five hour time course and first results indicate that beneficial effects are apparent within 1 ½ and 3 hours from drinking the first glass.

Fruitflow is found in a natural fruit juice called Sirco™ that has no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colours or flavours and is naturally cholesterol and salt free. One 250ml serving contains 3g of Fruitflow™ (the recommended daily consumption) and lasts up to 18 hours and you have a choice of Pomegranate & Orange or Blueberry & Apple.

You should find it in the chiller cabinet of your health store, or major supermarkets like Waitrose. To find out more go to www.sircoheart.com

Daily Aspirin help or hazard?

If you are taking a low dose aspirin on a daily basis to prevent heart problems, it seems that it does not offer protection but in fact might be harmful.A recent study reported in the Lancet showed that in people taking aspirin on that basis have very marginal protection than if they took nothing at all. The study focused on people who had no history of cardiac disease – the ones most targeted by previous information – and that their rate of occurrence of heart attack, strokes and death from heart disease was reduced to 0.51% per year. This sounds OK, until you see that the control group who took no aspirin had a rate of occurrence from the same conditions of 0.57%.

The benefit therefore is small, but there is a corresponding rise in the rate of major gastrointestinal and extracranial bleeding. This went up from 0.07% a year to 0.10% among the aspirin group, and showed that the risk of such bleeds rose along with their cardiovascular risk level.

The study analysed results for 95,000 people who took part in long-term primary prevention trials and has made the study’s authors speak out about the need to review the current guidelines for patients looking to lower their risk of heart disease.

Dr. Baigent, the main study author, recommends that to prevent heart disease we go back to basics. Primary prevention with aspirin could be expected to prevent five nonfatal heart attacks but cause three extra gastrointestinal bleeds and one extra intracranial hemorrhage per 10,000 people treated per year, To avoid these incidents the advice is to stop smoking, and to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels through diet and exercise. His last word on the subject,” The benefits of adding aspirin clearly outweigh the hazards.”

BUT ..

Researchers never do seem to agree with each other, and a study at the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands came to a similar, but different, conclusion. They used the same research data to analyse and agreed that the risk of aspirin was not acceptable in people who took it purely as a preventive but that there were significant gender and baseline risk factors to take into account. They recommended that a low dose daily aspirin was justified for the following groups:

** Men age 50 to 59 who are at five times the average cardiovascular risk
** Men age 60 to 69, who have at least twice the average cardiovascular risk
** Women in the same age range with at least five times the average risk
** All men age 70 to 79 regardless of risk
** Women in the same age range with at least double the average risk

As ever, you have to look at your own potential risk for heart disease and I would suggest you put all the lifestyle factors of diet and exercise in place and discuss this with your doctor before starting, or stopping, a daily aspirin habit.

Yet another difference between men and women

March 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Drugs & Medication


Well apart from the obvious ones we all know about; that men need more of the duvet and don’t eat as much as chocolate, it seems our aspirin response is different too. A daily aspirin for those men over 45 and women over 55 is often recommended as a preventive for heart attacks, but it seems that the benefit differs by gender.

Men do get fewer heart attacks with a daily dose, but it doesn’t affect women in the same way. Their benefit lies in the fact it reduces the risk of stroke, not of heart attacks.

New research published this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine has also focused on the possible dangers of regular aspirin use in causing gastrointestinal bleeding. This risk gets higher as the dose increases and the new recommendation is that no more than 75mg a day is just as effective as higher amounts. If you already have heart disease then taking 100mg or more of aspirin a day will not be of any benefit for the existing condition.

Pain relief on a plate

Usually, if you are in pain you reach for a pill. However, depending on the severity of your discomfort there are some foods that you might like to try. If you prefer a natural solution, you may want to visit your health store for white willow bark. In 1827, a French chemist named Leroux extracted a substance from the bark of a white willow tree that he named “Salicin.” This substance is the main active ingredient of white willow, and it works as a pain reliever. Many years later two other – Felix Hofman and Fredrick Bayer – found a related compound to salicin, and later developed a synthetic version of that compound. This led to the development of the commercial product known as aspirin. White willow doesn’t have the side effects of aspirin because it is naturally converted in the body to salicylic acid, which is mild and does not upset the stomach. You can use it wherever you would normally use aspirin: pain relief, to reduce fevers, and as an anti-inflammatory where it is particularly useful for arthritis and rheumatism. It is available as tablets or capsules, though the capsule form has a faster action.

However, if aspirin is your drug of choice for pain relief, then its effects will be accelerated if you drink a cup of strong coffee at the same time, according to research conducted by Dr Bernard Schachel of Yale University. If you are a cook, then there are a range of options available to you: eating chilli peppers can help reduce pain because they are an excellent source of caspsaicin, a substance found by researchers at the University of Alabama to diminish many kinds of pain, especially chronic pains, including those associated with pinched nerves, as in sciatica. Many everyday foods also have a high content of salicylates, like white willow bark, and they too have both analgesic effects and can also combat inflammation. Good sources of foods that are proven to have pain-reducing properties include: garlic, ginger, onions, cherries, prunes, blueberries, curry powder, dried currants and dates, paprika, liquorice, and peppermint.

An aspirin a day keeps heart attacks at bay?

It is part of the daily routine for many, but is it actually doing you good? Aspirin prevents platelets (a type of blood cell) from forming into clots and it is so effective that a single tablet can increase the tendency to bleed easily for up to a week. That’s fine if all you want to do is thin the blood, but too much blood thinning can be quite dangerous as researchers from McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada found when they examined 4,000 cases of patients suffering from gastrointestinal bleeding. They found that when the anticoagulant drugs warfarin and clopidogrel were taken with aspirin, gastrointestinal bleeding was four to six times higher than in subjects who didn’t combine these drugs. When these prescription blood thinners are prescribed, aspirin use is usually discouraged, but that doesn’t mean that each patient gets the message. Those who don’t may be experiencing much more harm than good.

In a previous study in 2004, UK researchers at the University of Hull produced a Warfarin/Aspirin Study in Heart Failure that divided patients into three groups: one group received 300 mg of aspirin daily, one received a standard daily dose of warfarin, and a third group received a placebo. All the subjects in the study had experienced either heart attack or stroke, prompted by thrombosis. After an average follow up period of more than two years, researchers found that neither the aspirin nor the warfarin therapies provided any greater protection against death, nonfatal stroke, or nonfatal heart attacks than the placebo. In fact, subjects who received aspirin therapy were nearly twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke compared to those who took warfarin or placebo. Gastrointestinal problems were also elevated in the aspirin group, confirming the findings of McGill University.

So if you’re taking a daily aspirin, should you stop? NO. Not before talking to your doctor first. In a 2003 study that reviewed more than 1,200 cases of coronary episodes, researchers found more than 50 cases of heart attacks or other severe coronary problems less than one week after patients discontinued aspirin use.