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Prevent Bruising Naturally

October 19, 2011 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

It’s estimated that more than 10% of men and women over the age of 50 have a chronic skin condition known as senile purpura. Even if the name isn’t familiar, the characteristic purplish bruises or lesions are easily recognizable. In many instances, physicians aren’t terribly concerned about senile purpura provided that potentially serious causes such as medication side effects and platelet abnormalities are ruled out. In general, it is believed that age related capillary fragility and thinning of the skin are the primary culprits of easy bruising. Fortunately, there are a number of dietary, supplemental and topical approaches one can take to address both of these risk factors.

Citrus bioflavonoids top the list of natural remedies worth considering. A recent 6 week study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology reports that a twice daily dosage of a “citrus bioflavonoid blend” reduced new purpura lesions by 50% in a group of 70 seniors. Previous trials have found similar success using specific citrus bioflavonoids including (micronized) diosmin and hesperidin. Nutritional deficiencies must also be considered. Vitamins C, K and the mineral zinc have been singled out in the medical literature. However, it’s important to note that simply eating a nutrient dense diet and supplementing with a multivitamim/mineral may not be enough. Certain health conditions such as celiac disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome may likewise contribute to abnormal bruising by reducing serum levels of Vitamins C and K. This is why it’s vital to address any underlying disease as well as any overt symptoms. In addition, multivitamins rarely contain all of the known nutrients that can strengthen capillaries and thicken skin. An example is Biosil, a bioavailable form of silicon, the trace mineral. Both human and in vitro experiments indicate that small dosages of absorbable silicon (10 mg/day) can stimulate collagen production and improve skin integrity. If dietary and supplemental remedies aren’t adequate, the topical use of a 20% arnica ointment or a 5% Vitamin K cream has also been shown to reduce bruising. Finally, anyone who bruises excessively should examine their intake of seemingly healthy beverages and foods that “thin the blood” such as red wine and salmon. Heavy consumption of fatty fish and antioxidant-rich, red wine predisposes some individuals to bruising easily by lowering platelet counts and inhibiting fibrinolysis.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study to Evaluate (link)

Study 2 - A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of a New Veno-Active(link)

Study 3 - Celiac Disease with Diffuse Cutaneous Vitamin K-Deficiency Bleeding(link)

Study 4 - Scurvy: A Disease Almost Forgotten (link)

Study 5 - Does Diabetes Mellitus Increase the Requirement for Vitamin C? (link)

Study 6 - Zinc Deficiency in Senile Purpura (link)

Study 7 - Serum Antioxidant Status Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome (link)

Study 8 - Effect of Oral Intake of Choline-Stabilized Orthosilicic Acid on Skin (link)

Study 9 - Orthosilicic Acid Stimulates Collagen Type 1 Synthesis(link)

Study 10 - Accelerated Resolution of Laser-Induced Bruising w/ Topical 20%(link)

Study 11 - High Dose of Red Wine Elicits Enhanced Inhibition of Fibrinolysis (link)

Study 12 - The Effects of Dietary Omega 3 Fatty Acids on Platelet Composition (link)

Select Fruits & Vegetables Increase Serum Flavonoid Concentrations

Source: Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Sep;56(9):891-8. (link)

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