Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States, yet, when you think about this condition you may not automatically equate it with blood clots.
However, most heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) are caused by blood clots that limit or block blood flow to your heart.
If you make it to the emergency room, clot-busting medications may be administered because the faster you can break up the clot, the faster you can restore normal blood flow (i.e, oxygen!) to your body.
Preventing blood clots, then, including “breaking up” any potential clots before they develop, is a key strategy to heart health no matter what your age. One way to do this is to attack clots at their root source: fibrin.
What Are Blood Clots Made of and How Do They Form?
Blood clots are made up primarily of fibrin, an insoluble protein that also makes up scar tissue. Your body produces fibrin in response to bleeding. Specifically, the soluble protein fibrinogen is converted into fibrin at the site of a wound via clotting enzymes called thrombin.[i]
It’s an amazing process that’s absolutely crucial to your health and healing, but it must be properly balanced by the action of plasmin, an enzyme known as your body’s natural blood thinner. Plasmin helps to remove excess or unnecessary accumulated proteins so your blood can flow freely.
If this balance is upset, serious consequences including blood clots and heart attack can result. One study published in the Italian Heart Journal noted:[ii]
“When fibrin deposition and removal are properly balanced, the organism is protected from both a catastrophic loss of blood at the site of injury and the inappropriate loss of fluidity within the vascular system.
When these activities are not properly balanced, however, severe bleeding or thromboses [blood clots] can occur. Myocardial infarction [heart attack] is a common and morbid consequence of the latter.”
Atherothrombosis: A Blood Clot Within Your Artery
You’re probably familiar with the term atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Less widely known, yet the leading cause of death in the Western world,[iii] is atherothrombosis — a blood clot that forms within your artery as a result of atherosclerosis.[iv]
Fibrinogen is one of the most studied risk factors in the development of atherothrombosis.[v] Like atherosclerosis, this condition can progress for years with no symptoms until it finally manifests as a heart attack or sudden death.
Fibrinogen levels may give some insight into your risk of this condition, however, as research shows a significant association between high fibrinogen levels and risk of heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease and cardiovascular death.[vi]
The association is so strong that the risk of cardiovascular events in people with the highest fibrinogen levels was twice that of people with lower levels — and this was true in both healthy people and those already at high risk of heart disease and stroke.[vii] Even slight increases in fibrinogen levels may increase your risk of future heart disease.[viii]
Risks of Hypercoagulation
Hypercoagulation is another condition related to increased fibrin in your blood and, as a result, an increased risk of blood clots and related conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolisms (PE), heart attack and stroke. Even kidney failure can occur if a blood clot forms in your kidneys.
Even in cases when excess fibrin does not lead to a blood clot, problems may still occur. Research suggests fibrin deposited in your blood vessels may lead to nutrient deficiencies, lack of oxygen and even chronic fatigue syndrome.[ix][x]
There are many causes of hypercoagulation, including genetic and lifestyle factors. In the latter case, being overweight or obese, smoking, using birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, long plane or car trips, extended bed rest and pregnancy may all increase your risk.
How to Remove Excess Fibrin From Your Blood
It’s possible to remove excess fibrin in your body. The key is activating your body’s natural fibrin cleanup crew, which is made of proteolytic enzymes, a group of systemic enzymes responsible for breaking down protein molecules. They hit masses of excess fibrin and eat them away — literally!
For instance, after 2 months of taking proteolytic enzymes, healthy study participants had decreases in fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII (other proteins involved in blood clotting) by 9 percent, 14 percent, and 17 percent, respectively.[xi] Those at high risk of heart disease had similar reductions (7 percent, 13 percent, and 19 percent, respectively) after taking the enzymes. Decreases in red blood cell aggregation and blood viscosity have also been demonstrated via proteolytic enzymes.[xii]
Systemic enzymes are naturally produced in your pancreas, but your natural production declines with age; these fibrin busters become largely depleted by age 50, with significant declines beginning as early as your late 20s.
Fortunately, improvement is easy… simply supplement your body’s supply of these vital enzymes for heart health. And, as an added bonus, proteolytic enzymes help fight pain-causing inflammation, cleanse toxins from your blood, fight viruses and fortify your immune system.
Learn more about these health restoring enzymes and where to find them by clicking the box below…