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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.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

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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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements

4 Comments & Updates to “Prevent Bruising Naturally”

  1. JP Says:

    Update: Passing along a testimonial from a long time client:

    Hi JP,

    Two weeks ago I started applying the SHIKAI BORAGE THERAPY dry skin lotion to my forearms, hands and legs in the morning as I got up and at night before bedtime. When I apply this lotion I notice that it gets absorbed promptly and there is not a residual stickiness typical of other moisturizing creams.

    I am impressed of the improvement that my skin has experienced both in suppleness,strength and mini wrinkles. I used to start bleeding easily at any minor scratch and now it is not happening! Even if the bleeding stopped promptly it was still a nuisance. No more!

    Please feel free to share my success with other ladies in my age group (almost 77) and skinny complexion probably prone to have thin skin and being prone to easy bruising!

    Thank you much for your successful targeted prescription! Of course this treatment is becoming a daily habit for me to continue enjoying more youth like skin!

    Of course I am practicing also your recommendations of consuming a healthy diet and enjoying daily good dark unsweetened chocolate .

    Giuliana F.

    Be well!


  2. JP Says:

    Updated 08/10/16:


    J Drugs Dermatol. 2011 Jul;10(7):718-22.

    A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study to evaluate the efficacy of a citrus bioflavanoid blend in the treatment of senile purpura.

    BACKGROUND: Senile purpura is a common, chronic skin condition affecting more than 10 percent of individuals over the age of 50. Despite being a benign condition, the continual development of purpura lesions in afflicted patients is frequently a source of significant visual and social concern. To date, there are no known effective treatments for this condition.

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of a novel nutraceutical citrus bioflavonoid blend in improving the skin’s appearance in patients with senile purpura.

    METHODS: A six-week, randomized, multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted to determine whether a uniquely formulated, oral citrus bioflavonoid supplement could treat active lesions of senile purpura while preventing new lesions from arising. Seventy patients with senile purpura were enrolled and 67 completed the study. Subjects were randomized into two groups receiving either a citrus bioflavonoid blend or placebo medication, which was taken orally twice daily for six weeks. Clinical evaluations were performed by blinded investigators at two locations.

    RESULTS: A statistically significant reduction in the number of new purpura lesions in the skin area undergoing clinical study was documented. At the end of six weeks, the citrus bioflavonoid blend treated group showed a 50 percent reduction in purpura lesions from baseline. Patient self-assessment of the effectiveness of the medication echoed the results of an investigator global assessment with a statistically significant improvement in the skin’s appearance noted by the patients receiving the active medication. No adverse effects were noted by either the patients or investigators.

    CONCLUSION: This new treatment appears to both safely and effectively diminish skin bruising in patients with senile purpura.

    Be well!


  3. JP Says:

    Updated 01/24/17:


    J Nutr Health Aging. 2017;21(2):137-146.

    Nutritional Status and Habitual Dietary Intake Are Associated with Frail Skin Conditions in Community-Dwelling Older People.

    OBJECTIVE: Prevention of frail skin is important in older people because frail skin is associated with a risk of injury in this population. In this study, we investigated the association of nutritional status and habitual dietary intake with skin conditions in community-dwelling older people.

    DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

    SETTING: Three community settings in Japan from autumn to winter.

    PARTICIPANTS: Older people aged ≥65 years without care-need certification (n=118).

    MEASUREMENTS: Malnutrition and obesity were evaluated to assess the nutritional status. Nutrient and food group intakes per 1000 kcal were evaluated using a brief self-administered diet history questionnaire. Dietary patterns based on food groups were evaluated by principal component analysis. Skin condition parameters, including stratum corneum hydration, appearance of xerosis (specific symptom sum score [SRRC score]), and dermal intensity by high-frequency ultrasonography, were measured on a lower leg. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed with adjustment for confounders.

    RESULTS: The mean (standard deviation) age was 74.1 (4.8) years, and 83.1% of participants were female. A higher intake of plant fat (p=0.018) was associated with a lower SRRC score. Higher intakes of α-tocopherol (p=0.050) and vitamin C (p=0.017) were associated with increased dermal intensity. A body mass index ≥25 (p=0.016) was associated with decreased dermal intensity. A dietary pattern characterized by higher vegetable and fruit intake was associated with a better skin condition.

    CONCLUSION: Plant fat, antioxidant vitamins, and a dietary pattern characterized by vegetables and fruits showed positive and obesity showed negative associations for frail skin in community-dwelling older people.

    Be well!


  4. JP Says:

    Updated 08/16/17:


    Phytother Res. 2017 Aug 14.

    Hesperidin Supplementation Alleviates Oxidative DNA Damage and Lipid Peroxidation in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.

    This study aimed to examine the effects of hesperidin supplement on the glycemic parameters, oxidative DNA damage, and lipid peroxidation in patients with type 2 diabetes. Sixty-four patients were randomly allocated to receive 500 mg/day hesperidin or placebo capsules for 6 weeks. Data on glycemic parameters, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHDG), and malondialdehyde (MDA) were collected at the baseline and at the end of the study. In hesperidin group, TAC increased (0.74 ± 0.16 vs. 0.82 ± 0.18), while serum froctoseamin (5.79 ± 5.86 vs. 5.01 ± 4.95; p = 0.001), 8-OHDG (14.32 ± 6.4 vs. 11.00 ± 7.0; p = 0.000), and MDA (5.78 ± 1.76 vs. 4.60 ± 0.75; p = 0.000) decreased in comparison with the baseline values. There was a significant difference in percent change of TAC (13.35 ± 19.21 vs. 3.13 ± 10.02; p = 0.043), froctoseamin (-10.10 ± 16.84 vs. 4.27 ± 34.646), 8-OHDG (-25.11 ± 28.23 vs. 8.69 ± 35.41; p = 0.000), and MDA (-16.46 ± 18.04 vs. -1.82 ± 22.63; p = 0.007) between hesperidin and control groups following intervention in adjusted models. These results suggest that hesperidin may improve TAC and alleviate serum froctoseamin, 8-OHDG, and MDA levels in type 2 diabetes.

    Be well!


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