Capillary Fragility

What is Capillary Fragility?

If you tend to bruise easily—sometimes without even knowing what you did to cause the bruise—you may have fragile capillaries. Or perhaps you notice a little bleeding from your gums when you brush your teeth or use dental floss or a Water Pik. Maybe you've easy bruising and bleeding can also be early warning signs of more serious health problems. Before you undertake nutritional therapy to alleviate these symptoms, please consult your personal physician about them.

Capillary FragilityMaybe you've always been troubled by occasional nosebleeds that come on without warning. You may not think much about these symptoms, but their cause may certainly be nutritional. The bleeding may occur because the tiny blood vessels (the capillaries) in the gum tissue, the skin, or the lining of the nose have become so weak that now minor trauma—as little as your brushing your teeth or a minor blow—can break them. The weakness is usually the result of poorly made collagen that tears more easily, a weakened structure that comes about from certain dietary deficiencies.

What helps Capillary Fragility?

•  Deficiency of vitamin C plays a greater role than any other nutrient in causing weak capillaries that bleed easily. One of the earliest (and least dangerous) signs of the deficiency of vitamin C— scurvy—is bleeding of the gums. You may find it interesting to read the discussion in Section 1 about the discovery of scurvy. In the A-to-Z Nutrient listings in Section we, you will also find a more detailed discussion of how vitamin C works in the production of strong collagen. Recommendation: If possible, purchase vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in crystalline (powdered) form. Each teaspoon should contain 4 grams of vitamin C. Begin with 1/8 teaspoon (500 mg) once a day. After a few days, increase to 1/4 teaspoon (1000 mg or 1 gram) once a day. Then take that dose (1/4 teaspoon) twice a day. After you have reached this dose level, which gives you 2000 mg (or 2 grams) of vitamin C per day, begin to increase the amount taken at each dose (V2 teaspoon next) or the frequency of dosing (3 times a day, 4 times a day) until you reach your bowel tolerance level (see Vitamin C, Section we, page 54) or reach a daily dose of 4 to 8 grams. By this time you should no longer be seeing bleeding gums or frequent nosebleeds, and you should find that you bruise less easily.

• The action of vitamin C on capillary fragility is improved if you add bioflavonoids to it. The bioflavonoid hesperidin works well in this regard. Recommendation: Take 200 mg hesperidin plus 200 to 250 mg vitamin C with each meal and at bedtime (4 doses spaced throughout the day) for 2 weeks. Then reduce your dose to 100 mg of each 4 times a day (still at meals and bedtime) until your symptoms disappear. Then maintain your intake at 200 mg of each taken only once per day.

• In bruising rashes (called purpura) brought on by infection, reactions to medications, or other allergic reactions, which all act to make the capillaries fragile, vitamin E seems to speed clearance of the rash. Let us stress that we do not intend to imply that vitamin E treats the causes of these rashes, only that it will help to clear the rash that develops because of them. Recommendation: Take 400IU to 600 IU vitamin E (as d-alpha-tocopherol) daily for 3 weeks.

• A deficiency in zinc may contribute to the fragility of blood vessels in the thinned skin of older people. Recommendation: 100 mg chelated zinc daily for 3 to 6 months. Warning: Supplementation of zinc in its ionic form can create deficiencies of other minerals, such as copper, by competing with them for absorption from the intestine. Chelation of the minerals prevents this competition, allowing you to fully absorb each of the minerals.

 
 
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Capillary Fragility
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