‘Significant’ mushroom-based supplement could prevent blood clots

British Heart Foundation: Understanding blood clots

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Certain supplements are vital when it comes to helping people stay healthy. Those who aren’t able to get enough vitamins through diet might need to take them in tablet form, for example. And some supplements can have multiple health benefits that protect against potentially dangerous conditions.

One expert recommended lion’s mane mushroom supplements as a way to regenerate nerves and prevent blood clots.

Also known as hericium erinaceus, lion’s mane grows native to North America, Europe and Asia.

It can be eaten in mushroom form, or taken as a tablet or powder supplement.

Jessie Jones, personal trainer and nutrition coach at OriGym, explained: “Lion’s mane is a hugely popular and significant supplement that’s getting more traction the more research is done.

“It’s a mushroom that has been seen to have hugely positive effects on nerve regeneration, mental wellbeing and even potentially dementia prevention.

“Lion’s mane has also been found by some studies to help with blood clots, asking as a blood thinner.”

However, she warned: “If you’re already on blood thinning medication this can lead to bruising and bleeding as the blood becomes too thin.”

Blood clots

Blood clots are small clumps of blood that form a gel-like substance.

While clotting is necessary to prevent excessive bleeding, clots that don’t dissolve naturally can be dangerous.

This is because they can travel to vital organs and cause medical emergencies.

An example of this is when a clot blocks blood supply to the brain, leading to a stroke.

One study, published in Phytomedicine journal in 2010, found that hericenone B extract – taken from lion’s mane – could prevent platelet aggregation, which is when platelets join to form a clot.

It explained: “Platelet aggregation in the blood vessels causes thrombosis.

“Therefore, inhibitors of platelet aggregation promise to be preventive or therapeutic agents of various vascular diseases, including myocardial infarction and stroke.

“In the present study, we found that hericenone B had a strong anti-platelet activity and it might be a novel compound for antithrombotic therapy possessing a novel mechanism.”

It concluded that hericenone B “selectively inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation”.

Certain factors can increase your risk of a blood clot.

These include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • If you are using combined hormonal contraception
  • If you have had a blood clot before
  • If you are pregnant or have just had a baby
  • Having an inflammatory condition such as Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the NHS, symptoms of a blood clot include:

Throbbing or cramping pain in a leg or arm
Sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain (may be worse when you breathe in) and a cough or coughing up blood.

If you’re struggling to breathe or someone has passed out it is time to call 999 as it might be due to a pulmonary embolism.

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