October 23, 2014  

 
 

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   Nattokinase         

Animal & Human Studies

Nattokinase has been the subject of 17 studies, including two small human trials. Dr. Sumi and his colleagues induced blood clots in male dogs, then orally administered either four capsules of nattokinase (250 mg per capsule) or four placebo capsules to each dog. Angiograms (X-rays of blood vessels) revealed that the dogs who received nattokinase regained normal blood circulation (free of the clot) within five hours of treatment. Blood clots in the dogs who received only placebo showed no sign of dissolving in the 18 hours following treatment.

Researchers from Biotechnology Research Laboratories and JCR Pharmaceuticals Co. of Kobe, Japan, tested nattokinase's ability to dissolve a thrombus in the carotid arteries of rats. Animals treated with nattokinase regained 62 percent of blood flow, whereas those treated with plasmin regained just 15.8 percent of blood flow.
 

 

 Researchers from JCR Pharmaceuticals, Oklahoma State University, and Miyazaki Medical College tested nattokinase on 12 healthy Japanese volunteers (6 men and 6 women, between the ages of 21 and 55). They gave the volunteers 200 grams of natto (the food) before breakfast, then tracked fibrinolytic activity through a series of blood plasma tests. The tests indicated that the natto generated a heightened ability to dissolve blood clots: On average, the volunteers' ELT (a measure of how long it takes to dissolve a blood clot) dropped by 48 percent within two hours of treatment, and volunteers retained an enhanced ability to dissolve blood clots for 2 to 8 hours. As a control, researchers later fed the same amount of boiled soybeans to the same volunteers and tracked their fibrinolytic activity. The tests showed no significant change.

The Benefits of Nattokinase on Blood Pressure

Traditionally in Japan, Natto has been consumed not only for cardiovascular support, but also to lower blood pressure. In recent years, this traditional belief has been confirmed by several clinical trials. In 1995, researchers from Miyazaki Medical College and Kurashiki University of Science and Arts in Japan studied the effects of nattokinase on blood pressure in both animal and human subjects (see below). In addition, the researchers confirmed the presence of inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which converts angiotensin I to its active form angiotensin II within the test extract, which consisted of 80% ethanol extract of lyophilized viscous materials of natto. ACE causes blood vessels to narrow and blood pressure to rise -by inhibiting ACE, nattokinase has a lowering effect on blood pressure.

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Human Study

The same natto extract was then tested on human volunteers with high blood pressure. Blood pressure levels were measured after 30 grams of lyophilized extract (equivalent to 200 grams of natto food) was administered orally for 4 consecutive days. In 4 out of 5 volunteers, the systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased on average from 173.8 + 20.5 mmHg to 154.8 + 12.6 mmHg. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased on average from 101.0 + 11.4 mmHg to 91.2 + 6.6 mmHg. On average, this data represents a 10.9 percent drop in SBP and a 9.7 percent drop in DBP.1,2,6.

Conclusion

The traditional Japanese food Natto has been used safely for over 1000 years. The potent fibrinolytic enzyme nattokinase appears to be safe based upon the long-term traditional use of this food. Nattokinase has many benefits including convenience of oral administration, confirmed efficacy, prolonged effects, cost effectiveness, and can be used preventatively. It is a naturally occurring, food based dietary supplement that has demonstrated stability in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as to changes in pH and temperature.

Glossary of Terms:

  • Cardiac Infarction: Heart attack.

  • Cerebral Infarction: Stroke.

  • Fibrin: A whitish, filamentous protein formed by the action of thrombin on fibrinogen and makes up part of coagulum or blood clots.

  • Fibrinolytic: Pertaining to or causing the breaking up of blood clots. Infarction: Cardiac or cerebral tissue death due to failure of blood supply to the area usually caused by a blood clot.

  • Plasmin: An endogenously produced fibrinolytic enzyme.

  • Plasminogen: A precursor to plasmin. A protein found in many tissues and body fluids.

  • Thrombus: A blood clot that obstructs a blood vessel or a cavity to the heart.

  • Thrombolytic: Pertaining to or causing the breaking up of a thrombus.

  • TPA: Tissue plasminogen activator.

  • T-PAs: The most commonly used thrombolytic drugs including activase, urokinase, and streptokinase.

  • Urokinase: An endogenously produced thrombolytic enzyme & also a commonly used thrombolytic drug given intravenously to cardiac and cerbral infarction patients.


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DISCLAIMER
Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Products offered are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Dietary supplements are intended solely for nutritional support and individual results may vary.
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