The only way that food can have any kind of effect on clotting time is when you consume food that has anticoagulant properties. Coagulation is a process in which specialized cells of your body called thrombocytes start to gather around a wound and start to create a structural lattice of fibrous protein called a blood clot. By itself, there is no danger from this process and it is in fact one of the necessary functions of the body. This is only if clotting occurs on injury. If clotting occurs inside the body without the presence of injury, it is a serious condition called thrombosis. Thrombosis can sometimes occur in the veins and arteries of the body. One of the most famous types of thrombosis is called colloquially as the economy class syndrome and medically as Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. Worth noting is the fact that it is not the thrombosis itself that is the killer factor but rather what happens after that. When a clot is formed in a blood vessel, there is a possibility that it can break off and travel through the blood stream. This condition is called an embolism. If an embolism travels to the lungs, the resulting pulmonary embolism will be fatal.
There are certain types of drugs that can affect the process of clotting. The most famous of these is acetylsalicylic acid. This affects clotting by displacing some of the crucial enzymes in coagulation in thrombocytes. thrombocytes are cells that only contain clotting factor and do not contain nuclei that contain instructions to synthesize it. Once the clotting factors are displaced, clotting cannot take place until these cells are replaced, which could take up to a week. There are some foods with anticoagulant properties as well. Notable among these are garlic and the herb feverfew.
Feverfew is especially known for its blood thinning properties and can be used as a natural alternative to acetylsalicylic acid. It is one of the most popular methods of dealing with a headache or even migraines. Garlic is a wide spectrum drug because it serves as an antibiotic, a blood thinner, and an antihypertensive. For this reason, garlic should not be consumed in high quantities even by extremely healthy people, though an overdose is probably a good idea when there is a major infection in the body. Some anti-inflammatory herbs can also affect clotting times like turmeric but this only if you apply it topically.
Submitted by M T on January 14, 2010 at 08:23