Q. Dear Terry, “What do you recommend for varicose veins and can they be dangerous? I take grape seed extract. Does that help?”– Patricia G., Calgary, Alberta
A. Dear Patricia, Varicose veins can be caused by a variety of conditions: pregnancy, high blood pressure, family history, and increased weight. If you’re concerned about varicose veins, I recommend discussing them with your healthcare practitioner. Prescription medications and surgery are some of the conventional treatments for varicose veins. I think supporting the vascular system with natural ingredients is safe and effective.
One of my favorite ingredients for supporting the heart, arteries, and veins is grape seed extract. This botanical can work in numerous ways to support circulation: reduces high blood pressure, protects the blood vessel walls from free radical damage, and prevents the dangerous oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Grape seed extract has also been shown to decrease the risk of blood clotting, without adverse effects on blood thinning. There is even research supporting grape seed extract’s effect on venous conditions, like chronic venous insufficiency, which can occur simultaneously with varicose veins. The grape seed extract I prefer is a French grape seed extract with low-molecular weight oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) that are well absorbed. I would take grape seed extract two times per day.
There are also three vitamins I think are very important for proper circulation: vitamin A, D, and K. The two main types of vitamin K we obtain through diet or supplements are K1 and K2. Many people are familiar with K1 and its effects on blood clotting, as vitamin K derived its name from the German word “klotting”. However, vitamin K2 is equally important, especially when it comes to proper circulation. When taking vitamin K2 for supporting the arteries, I would also include vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) and vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate). Studies are finding that vitamin D and vitamin K work better when they’re both at optimal levels. Vitamins A and D are also important for the cells that line the inside of our blood vessels. These vitamins all work together to help with healthy circulation. I would take these ingredients once or twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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