Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood?

Health experts often encourage the moderate consumption of alcohol. Recent research endeavors have added further backing for such a claim, as alcohol has the ability to thin the blood. As anything else contributing to a healthy lifestyle, moderation is a key factor for the health benefits of alcohol. This article will look at the blood thinning function of alcohol and also suggest other methods that you can adopt to thin your blood.

Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood?

The simple answer is Yes. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington have now confirmed that alcohol can help thinning the blood. It prevents the blood platelets from sticking and clumping together, which in turn can lead to the clogging of the main artery leading to the heart. When this artery is completely blocked, it can result in a heart attack.

In the study carried out by Georgetown University, it was also found that red wine works as a better blood thinner than many other forms of alcohol. The effects of alcohol in the reduction of blood clotting were more pronounced in the female participants of the study than their male counterparts. In the experiment, when one serving of alcohol mixed in grain was provided, the effect on prevention of clotting was negligible. However, when the serving was increased to twice the original amount, blood-thinning effects were observed.

For How Long Does Alcohol Thin Your Blood?

It is not really known whether the function of alcohol as a blood thinner lasts long enough for its moderate consumption in the absence of other medicine. For patients with cardiac problems in particular, it is important not to depend entirely on the consumption of alcohol for treatment of clot formation. At best, the effect of alcohol can last long enough if it is consumed in moderation and on every alternate day.

Disadvantages of Using Alcohol as a Blood Thinner

If you use alcohol as a blood thinner continuously, you run the risk of excessive consumption or even addiction. In such cases, you may even end up suffering from diseases related to alcoholism, such as cirrhosis of the liver, not to mention the social problems that alcoholism can bring about at home and at work. In addition, if excessive alcohol is consumed, there is also a chance of suffering from excessive thinning which can often manifest in the form of a stroke.

Other Ways to Thin Your Blood

Now that we know the answer to the question "does alcohol thin your blood", as well as good and bad sides of consuming alcohol for its blood-thinning properties, you may be curious about other methods of thinning your blood.

1. Take Aspirin

Consider taking aspirin, about 81 mg, daily. At the same time, avoid this if you have stomach ulcers, GI bleeding, or allergies. Aspirin can also interact with other medicines such as heparin, ibuprofen and antidepressants.

2. Exercise Regularly

You can also add the habit of regular exercise into your routine, thereby reducing your risk of experiencing a heart attack or even a stroke. Start with thirty minutes a day and build up your stamina to your personal optimal level.

3. Change Your Diet

Be more aware of your diet. Take at least eight glasses of water a day, and incorporate fiber and unsaturated fats into your diet. In addition, you will have to minimize foods rich in Vitamin K which can affect the action of some blood thinners.

4. Take Blood Thinners

Not only does alcohol thin your blood, there are medications you can take to avoid clotting and prevent heart attack. Take medicines that have coumarin as the principle ingredient. This is known as an anticoagulant which is basically a medicine that targets the clotting of your blood. Medicines such as Coumadin and warfarin are two examples. They do come with side effects, though, such as hair loss, abdominal pain and gas. There are also other blood thinners that you can try, provided that you have gained the clearance from your doctor, such as pradaxa, Xarelto, or eliquis.


When you use prescription medicines to treat the condition whereby your blood is thick, you should consult with your doctor first. Never attempt self-medication or else you may unknowingly worsen your condition. Prolonged consumption of warfarin can cause internal bleeding, so you need to take regular blood tests and pay special attention when taking the medicine.

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