Bruising - Capillary Fragility

Capillary Fragility

When the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries, become weak, a person is said to have capillary fragility. This leads to small spots of bleeding in the skin and easy bruising. Refer to the bruising section for more information. There are no serious complications from having capillary fragility, but it may signify that a more serious, underlying problem exists. Therefore, individuals should consult a physician if there is bleeding in the skin.

Dietary changes that may be helpful: Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will provide more of the nutrients mentioned in the following section that support the structure of capillaries.

Nutritional supplements that may be helpful:

patients undergoing dialysis may develop low levels of vitamin C , which leads to capillary fragility. 1 As little as 100 mg per day may help people with artificially induced fragility. For others, higher amounts may be necessary (1 gram or more). 2 Vitamin C has been used to treat capillary weakness accompanying diabetes . 3 Linus pauling, ph.D., pioneered many uses for vitamin C and included capillary fragility as one of them. 4

Widespread plant compounds called bioflavonoids are a centerpiece of strengthening weakened capillaries. In test tubes and animal studies, they have been shown to protect collagen, one of the most important components of capillary walls. 5 6 Use of bioflavonoids, particularly quercetin , rutin, and hesperidin, with vitamin C is routinely recommended for capillary fragility. 7 Doctors of natural medicine often recommend 400 mg of rutin or quercetin three times per day or 1 gram of citrus flavonoids three times per day.

Are there any side effects or interactions

(Refer to individual supplement for complete information.) Some individuals develop diarrhea after as little as a few thousand milligrams of vitamin C per day, while others are not bothered by ten times this amount. However, high levels of vitamin C can deplete the body of copper, an essential nutrient. It is prudent to ensure adequate copper intake at higher intakes of vitamin C (copper is found in many multivitamin/mineral supplements). No consistent toxicity has been linked to the bioflavonoids.

Checklist for Capillary Fragility

Nutritional Supplements


Homeopathic Remedies

Vitamin C

Bioflavonoids ( quercetin , rutin , hesperidin )

No herbs commonly used for this condition No homeopathy commonly used for this condition


  1. 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.
  2. Borisov IM, Sluka pp. Use of artificially ionized air and vitamins C and p for preventing increased capillary fragility in student athletes. Gig Sanit 1973;38:105 7 in Russian.
  3. Cox BD, Butterfield WJ. Vitamin C supplements and diabetic cutaneous capillary fragility. Br Med J 1975;3:205.
  4. pauling L. Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Company, 1976, 169.
  5. Schlebusch H, Kern D. Stabilization of collagen by polyphenols. Angiologica 1972;9:248 56 in German.
  6. 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 58.
  7. Bruneton J. pharmacognosy phytochemistry Medicinal plants. Andover: Intercept Ltd., 1995, 277.

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