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Capillary Fragility (Holistic)

About This Condition

Deal with delicate capillaries by uncovering the cause—bleeding beneath the skin may signal a serious condition. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Seek support from C

    Consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider to find out if you need to increase your vitamin C intake to prevent a deficiency associated with capillary fragility

  • Get to know proanthocyanidins

    Increase capillary strength by taking 150 mg a day of these powerful plant nutrients

  • Go for a checkup

    Visit your doctor to find out whether your capillary fragility is the result of a treatable medical problem

About

About This Condition

When the smallest blood vessels, capillaries, become weak, a person has capillary fragility.

There are no serious complications from having capillary fragility, but it may signify that a more serious, underlying problem exists. Therefore, people should consult a physician if there is bleeding in the skin.

Symptoms

Weak capillaries lead to small spots of bleeding in the skin and easy bruising. Bruises look like areas of blue to purple-colored skin that can turn yellow to dark brown over the course of a few days.

Eating Right

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

Recommendation Why
Fill up on fruits and veggies
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will help provide the nutrients needed to support capillary structure.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will provide more of the nutrients mentioned in the Nutritional supplements information below that support the structure of capillaries.

Supplements

What Are Star Ratings?

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.

2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.

1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Supplement Why
3 Stars
Vitamin C
Treat deficiency with up to 1 gram daily
In cases of deficiency, vitamin C has been shown to increase capillary strength, in seniors and people with diabetes in particular.

Severe vitamin C deficiency (scurvy) is a well-recognized but uncommon cause of increased capillary fragility. Whether vitamin C supplementation can help capillary fragility in people who do not have scurvy is less clear. Patients undergoing dialysis may develop low levels of vitamin C,1 , 2 which can lead to capillary fragility, but giving dialysis patients 50 mg of vitamin C per day had no effect on capillary fragility in one study.3 People with kidney failure and those undergoing dialysis should not supplement with more than 100 mg per day, unless supervised by a doctor.

According to preliminary studies, vitamin C may reduce capillary weakness in diabetics, who often have low blood levels of vitamin C compared to non-diabetics.4 , 5 In a double-blind trial, elderly people with low vitamin C levels and capillary fragility were helped with supplementation of one gram per day of vitamin C.6

2 Stars
Proanthocyanidins
150 mg daily
Proanthocyanidins, flavonoids extracted from grape seeds, have been shown to increase capillary strength in people with hypertension and diabetes.

Compounds called flavonoids may help strengthen weakened capillaries. In test tube and animal studies, they have been shown to protect collagen, one of the most important components of capillary walls.7 , 8 A preliminary study found that proanthocyanidins (flavonoids extracted from grape seeds), 150 mg per day, increased capillary strength in people with hypertension and/or diabetes.9 A double-blind trial found a combination of two flavonoids (900 mg per day of diosmin and 100 mg per day hesperidin) for six weeks reduced symptoms of capillary fragility.10 Use of vitamin C with flavonoids, particularly quercetin, rutin, and hesperidin, is sometimes recommended for capillary fragility.11 Doctors often recommend 400 mg of rutin or quercetin three times per day or 1 gram of citrus flavonoids three times per day.

1 Star
Flavonoids
Refer to label instructions
Flavonoids may help strengthen weakened capillaries, possibly by protecting collagen, one of the most important components of capillary walls.

Compounds called flavonoids may help strengthen weakened capillaries. In test tube and animal studies, they have been shown to protect collagen, one of the most important components of capillary walls.12 , 13 A preliminary study found that proanthocyanidins (flavonoids extracted from grape seeds), 150 mg per day, increased capillary strength in people with hypertension and/or diabetes.14 A double-blind trial found a combination of two flavonoids (900 mg per day of diosmin and 100 mg per day hesperidin) for six weeks reduced symptoms of capillary fragility.15 Use of vitamin C with flavonoids, particularly quercetin, rutin, and hesperidin, is sometimes recommended for capillary fragility.16 Doctors often recommend 400 mg of rutin or quercetin three times per day or 1 gram of citrus flavonoids three times per day.

References

1. Bradley DW, Maynard JE, Webster H. Plasma and whole blood concentrations of ascorbic acid in patients undergoing long-term hemodialysis. Am J Clin Pathol 1973;60:145–7.

2. Sullivan JF, Eisenstein AB. Ascorbic acid depletion during hemodialysis. JAMA 1972;220:1697–9.

3. Tomson CR, Channon SM, Parkinson IS. Correction of subclinical ascorbate deficiency in patients receiving dialysis: effects on plasma oxalate, serum cholesterol, and capillary fragility. Clin Chim Acta 1989;180:255–64.

4. Cox BD, Butterfield WJ. Vitamin C supplements and diabetic cutaneous capillary fragility. Br Med J 1975;3:205.

5. Will JC, Byers T. Does diabetes mellitus increase the requirement for vitamin C? Nutr Rev 1996;54:193–202 [review].

6. Schorah CJ, Tormey WP, Brooks GH, et al. The effect of vitamin C supplements on body weight, serum proteins, and general health of an elderly population. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:871–6.

7. Schlebusch H, Kern D. Stabilization of collagen by polyphenols. Angiologica 1972;9:248–56 [in German].

8. Monboisse J, Braquet P, Randoux A, Borel J. Non-enzymatic degradation of acid-soluble calf skin collagen by superoxide ion: protective effect of flavonoids. Biochem Pharmacol 1983;32:53–8.

9. Lagrue G, Olivier-Martin F, Grillot A. A study of the effects of procyanidol oligomers on capillary resistance in hypertension and in certain nephropathies. Sem Hop 1981;57:1399–401 [in French].

10. Galley P, Thiollet M. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new veno-active flavonoid fraction (S 5682) in the treatment of symptomatic capillary fragility. Int Angiol 1993;12:69–72.

11. Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy Phytochemistry Medicinal Plants. Andover: Intercept Ltd., 1995, 277.

12. Schlebusch H, Kern D. Stabilization of collagen by polyphenols. Angiologica 1972;9:248–56 [in German].

13. Monboisse J, Braquet P, Randoux A, Borel J. Non-enzymatic degradation of acid-soluble calf skin collagen by superoxide ion: protective effect of flavonoids. Biochem Pharmacol 1983;32:53–8.

14. Lagrue G, Olivier-Martin F, Grillot A. A study of the effects of procyanidol oligomers on capillary resistance in hypertension and in certain nephropathies. Sem Hop 1981;57:1399–401 [in French].

15. Galley P, Thiollet M. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of a new veno-active flavonoid fraction (S 5682) in the treatment of symptomatic capillary fragility. Int Angiol 1993;12:69–72.

16. Bruneton J. Pharmacognosy Phytochemistry Medicinal Plants. Andover: Intercept Ltd., 1995, 277.

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