Home 5 Frank's Column 5 Risk involved with Atrial Fibrillation – or Afib as the commercials call it!

Risk involved with Atrial Fibrillation – or Afib as the commercials call it!

I’m one of those with bouts of irregular heart beats that fall in this category. Mine are typically a skipped beat follow by a chest-thumper of a beat, that happens every 4-11 beats or so. Fibrillation, to me, means a fluttering of the atrial chambers, wherein the chambers don’t forcefully contract, and that means blood is going nowhere, whereas mine is just a random miscoordination between the atria and the ventricles.

I can induce this by combining too much sugar, salt and alcohol at any time, in various combinations. Mine started suddenly at the age of 21 when I woke up and had a massive, sudden sneeze one morning (my first day of work with Hughes Aircraft Co – suppose it could have been nerves?) It went away by the time I got to a doctor, but they put me on Beta-blockers for several years until I found that long-term use leads to congestive heart failure. After that I just tolerated it when it randomly occurred or I celebrated too much. With a real fibrillation you can throw blood clots or suddenly pass out – not a good thing, but I have a feeling that most instances of diagnosed Afib is skipped beats such as I have.

My strategy to handle this is abundant omega-3 fat supplementation, plus I eat fish often, along with using Nattokinase to make sure I never throw a blood clot. Then I really don’t care if I lose rhythm now and then. Most importantly, I would never let the Docs put me on any of the blood thinning drugs. The good news is that these strategies tend to improve the regularity of heart beats overall. From a resent news release – these comments:

Results published in the journal Circulation indicated that the highest average levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a 29% reduction in the risk of atrial fibrillation, compared with the lowest average levels, while the effects seemingly linked to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) levels more so than EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).

“Our findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids could be beneficial for the prevention of onset of atrial fibrillation in older individuals, a group at particularly high risk,” wrote the researchers, led by Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, from the Harvard School of Public Health.

“Given the aging of the population, the significant and growing public health burden of atrial fibrillation, and the limited treatment options once atrial fibrillation develops, our results highlight the need to investigate atrial physiological and arrhythmic mechanisms affected by total and individual [omega-3 fatty acids] and to test the efficacy of [omega-3 fatty acids] for preventing new onset of atrial fibrillation among older adults in a randomized intervention.”

The current drugs for this issue are Coumadin and Predaxa. Coumadin works by locking up vitamin K, with disastrous long-term impact on vascular health, bone health, injury healing and brain function, with significant risk of bleeding at many points in the body. Predaxa inhibits clotting factor II, so at least vitamin K can be brought to healthy levels, but risk of bleeding in some body areas exceeds that of Coumadin. I would not use either drug. Omega-3 fats tame platelet activation, while nattokinase reduces fibrinogen, and fibrin levels, thereby making blood less viscous (improves flow, lowers blood pressure required to move it), all with no increased risk of bleeding. I take this approach over the assurance of very poor health in old age from these drugs. The notes below were found on several websites searched:

“Nattokinase inactivates plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and potentiates fibrinolytic activity. In other words, it could dissolve fibrin. Fibrin is a protein involved in the clotting of blood that is polymerized to form a “mesh” that forms a hemostatic plug or clot (in conjunction with platelets). Fibrin is made from fibrinogen, a soluble plasma glycoprotein synthesized by the liver. Nattokinase prevents aggregation of red blood cells.

Nattokinase side effects, safety and risks and danger

No significant nattokinase side effects have yet been reported in the medical literature when used without other anticoagulants. However, this does not mean that nattokinase is side effect free, it just means that we don’t have enough human trials to know all the benefits and risks with nattokinase enzyme treatment. One action of this natural substance is as a blood thinner, hence those on Coumadin, aspirin, or other anticoagulants need to be careful and discuss with their doctor the use of a nattokinase supplement. Using nattokinase with warfarin or aspirin could enhance bleeding risk.”

The use of flax oil, fish oil, krill oil and other omega-3 sources with nattokinase appears to be quite safe, and certainly better for overall health in the long run, for avoiding clots due to Afib.

Good Living – Frank

Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi

Frank Wilhelmi – Retired/consultant electronic engineer researches and reports practical strategies for optimizing health and fitness into advanced age. “I have a passion for living life to the fullest, and helping others to do the same.” A rapidly growing body of knowledge now enables us to extend our health and fitness decades beyond popular expectations.

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