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Breast Cancer Prevention and Blood Thinners

Since hypercoagulation is linked to breast and a number of other cancers, then one may logically consider the possibility that substances that thin the blood may possibly be linked to a reduction in risk for some cancers. As it turns out, recent medical research may bear this out.

Natural blood thinners such as garlic, aspirin, fish oil, vitamin E and olive oil have all been implicated as potential factors for breast cancer prevention. What do these substances have in common? One common denominator is that they all tend to reduce blood coagulation. Hypercoagulation is linked to breast and other cancers, and perhaps hypocoagulation may be linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer.

Factors that are known to promote blood coagulation, such as alcohol, saturated fats, red meats (which tend to be high in saturated fats), and estrogen therapy, have all been linked to an increased risk of cancer as well as an increased risk of blood clots.

Interestingly, in traditional Chinese medicine, cancer is viewed as a circulation problem. Chinese medicine holds the position that stagnant blood and a blockage of chi, or vital energy, are a cause of tumors. Chinese medicine views tumors as a symptom of the chi blockage, and not the root disorder in and of itself. While traditional Chinese healers of past centuries would most likely not have had specific, text book level knowledge of such things as coagulation factors and vitamins, it is interesting that they did seem to be keenly aware of the link between cancer and circulation issues.

In Ayurvedic, or traditional Indian, medicine tumors are linked to an excess of "kapha", a term used to describe people who are usually overweight, feel cold, suffer from a poor circulation and a sluggish metabolism. Interestingly, the Ayurvedic treatment for excess kapha is to have people do vigorous exercise and provide them with "warming spices" such as ginger and garlic. Ginger and garlic are both known blood thinners as well as known cancer inhibitors. Exercise also improves circulation and tends to decrease circulation issues by lowering levels of vitamin K. (Perhaps not coincidentally, recent research shows that women who over exercise, such as marathon runners, are often at risk for vitamin K deficiencies.)

The charts below illustrates the commonalties between an Ayurvedic view of breast cancer and recent Western medical findings.

 
Ayurvedic
Medicine
Western
Medicine
Concurrent conditions with breast cancer
  • Tumors are a sign of a "kapha dosha" - sluggish metabolism, obesity, low activity level, too much fat in diet
  • Cancer often occurs in conjunction with blood clots, hypothyroidism, obesity

Cancer
Treatments

  • Reduce fats in diet

  • Take warming spices including garlic, ginger

  • Vigorous activity reduces the kapha dosha
  • Reduce dietary fat, especially saturated fats (which coagulates the blood)

  • Research shows garlic, ginger, aspirin, vitamin E, olive oil may have anticancer properties

  • Exercise helps prevent breast cancer, especially vigorous activity

Comparison of Ayurvedic treatment of cancer versus Western medicine findings

I'm sure most Western doctors of today dismiss traditional Eastern medicine as being of dubious value. Yet, I think the links between the ancient treatments to improve circulation and thin the blood as cancer treatments compare favorably to recent medical research linking breast cancer prevention to factors that thin the blood and improve circulation. It's just that the ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese doctors arrived at these similar conclusions through noticing patterns with body types, dietary habits and illnesses, rather than formalized research by people in white lab coats. However, I believe that the recent research from formal medical studies in Western countries may be validating some of the treatments for breast cancer that have been advocated by traditional Eastern healers for centuries.


Breast Cancer and Garlic

Garlic is known to prevent blood clots and has also been shown to inhibit cancer cells, especially breast cancer cells. One of the ways garlic thins the blood is that it is a natural antibiotic. Antibiotics destroy stomach bacteria, including the type of bacteria that synthesize vitamin K, the main nutrient that coagulates blood. (The "K" in vitamin K comes from the Danish word for coagulation.) With a decrease in vitamin K, blood "thins out" or coagulates less readily. (Because of this, people on long term antibiotics are at high risk for vitamin K deficiencies, osteoporosis and bleeding problems.)

Studies showing garlic is effective against breast cancer include:

Studies showing garlic as an anticoagulant include:


Breast Cancer and Aspirin

Besides garlic, aspirin has also been shown to both thin the blood and be preventative against breast cancer. Aspirin, a salicylate, thins the blood by blocking vitamin K. Because of this, people who take aspirin for long periods, like people who take antibiotics long term, are at risk for bleeding problems.

Studies showing aspirin is effective against breast cancer include:

Reports showing aspirin as an anticoagulant include:


Breast Cancer Prevention, Vitamin E and Olive Oil

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another substance has also been shown to thin the blood and also may be preventative against breast cancer. Vitamin E is an antagonist of vitamin K, meaning too much vitamin E can cause a vitamin K deficiency and bleeding problems.

Studies linking vitamin E to reduced breast cancer risk include:

Recommended Link: Cancer: Project: Food Sources of Vitamin E

Olive Oil

Olive oil is yet another substance that has also been shown to thin the blood and be preventative against breast cancer.

Studies linking olive oil to decreased blood coagulation factors:

Papers noting olive oil is protective against breast cancer include:


More Links between Blood Thinners and Breast Cancer Prevention

In addition to the previously mentioned garlic, aspirin, vitamin E and olive oil, additional factors that have been found to thin the blood as well as reduce the risk of cancer include:

Fish oil - has been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer. Fish oil also thins the blood.

Ginger - is a known blood thinner and has also been found to have anticancer properties.

Turmeric has been a cancer prevention spice for thousands of years in Ayurveda medicine. Recent Western medical studies do confirm its effectiveness against cancer.

Exercise - exercise is an established factor in reducing breast cancer risk. Exercise, especially vigorous exercise, also improves circulation and reduces vitamin K levels. Interestingly, women who exercise excessively are known to be at risk for vitamin K deficiency as well as reduced bone mass.

To sum it up, the following factors have all been found to help prevent breast cancer and they all also thin the blood:

  • Garlic
  • Aspirin
  • Vitamin E
  • Olive Oil
  • Ginger
  • Fish Oil
  • Exercise

I don't think this is all a coincidence. The one thing all of these factors that have been found to prevent breast cancer have in common is that they all prevent the blood from coagulating.

 

Next => Breast Cancer Linked to High Bone Density




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Breast Cancer: An Alternative Treatment Hypothesis

The Links to Blood Clots and Vitamin K

Breast Cancer Prevention with Natural Blood Thinners

Summary