Nattokinase

A great food derivative for those have had heart attacks and strokes due to clotting

What Is Nattokinase?

Nattokinase is a potent clot dissolving substance

(an enzyme) extracted from a traditional Japanese food called

Natto. It is produced by a fermentation process after adding

Bacillus natto, a friendlyl bacteria, to boiled soybeans. This

produces a fermented cheese-like food that has been used in

Japan for over 1000 years for its popular taste and as a folk

remedy for heart and vascular diseases. It contains nattokinase

enzyme, a great clot buster that may be even superior to current

drugs, such as Warfarin and Urokinase.

The Discovery of Nattokinase

Doctor Hiroyuki Sumi had long searched for a

natural agent that could successfully dissolve thrombus associated

with cardiac and cerebral infarction (blood clots associated

with heart attacks and stroke). Sumi discovered nattokinase

in 1980 while working as a researcher and majoring in physiological

chemistry at Chicago University Medical School. After testing

over 173 natural foods for clot-dissolvingpotential, Sumi found

what he was looking for when Natto was dropped onto artificial

clot (thrombus) in a Petri dish and allowed it to stand at 37

C (approximately body temperature). The thrombus around the

natto dissolved gradually and had completely dissolved within

18 hours. Sumi named the newly discovered enzyme “nattokinase”,

which means “enzyme in natto”.

Potent Thrombolytic Activity

The human body produces several types of enzymes

for making thrombus, but only one main enzyme for breaking it

down and dissolving it – plasmin. The properties of nattokinase

closely resemble plasmin. According to Dr. Martin Milner, from

the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, what makes

nattokinase a particularly potent treatment, is that it enhances

the body’s natural ability to fight blood clots in several different

ways; Because it so closely resembles plasmin, it dissolves

fibrin directly. In addition, it also enhances the body’s production

of both plasmin and other clot-dissolving agents, including

urokinase (endogenous). “In some ways, Milner says, nattokinase

is actually superior to conventional clot-dissolving drugs,

which are only effective when taken intravenously and often

fail simply because a stroke or heart attack victim’s arteries

have hardened beyond the point where they can be treated by

any other clot-dissolving agent. Nattokinase, however, can help

prevent that hardening with an oral dose of as little as 100

mg a day.” 1,7

The Prolonged Action of Nattokinase

Nattokinase produces a prolonged action (unlike

antithrombin drugs that wear off shortly after IV treatment

is discontinued) in two ways: it prevents coagulation of blood

and it dissolves existing thrombus. Activity of NK has been

determined to last from 8 to 12 hours.

The Mechanism Behind Thrombus

Blood clots (or thrombi) form when strands of

protein called fibrin accumulate in a blood vessel. In the heart,

blood clots cause blockage of blood flow to muscle tissue. If

blood flow is blocked, the oxygen supply to that tissue is cut

off and it eventually dies. This can result in angina and heart

attacks. Clots in chambers of the heart can mobilize to the

brain. In the brain, blood clots also block blood and oxygen

from reaching necessary areas, which can result in senility

and/or stroke.

Thrombolytic enzymes are normally generated in

the endothelial cells of the blood vessels. As the body ages,

production of these enzymes begins to decline, making blood

more prone to coagulation. This mechanism can lead to cardiac

or cerebral infarction, as well as other conditions. Since endothelial

cells exist throughout the body, such as in the arteries, veins

and lymphatic system, poor production of thrombolytic enzymes

can lead to the development of thrombotic conditions virtually

anywhere in the body.

It has recently been revealed that thrombotic

clogging of the cerebral blood vessels may be a cause of dementia.

It has been estimated that sixty percent of senile dementia

patients in Japan is caused by thrombus. Thrombotic diseases

typically include cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction,

cardiac infarction and angina pectoris, and also include diseases

caused by blood vessels with lowered flexibility, including

senile dementia and diabetes (caused by pancreatic dysfunction).

Hemorrhoids are considered a local thrombotic condition. If

chronic diseases of the capillaries are also considered, then

the number of thrombus related conditions may be much higher.

Cardiac infarction patients may have an inherent imbalance in

that their thrombolytic enzymes are weaker than their coagulant

enzymes. Nattokinase holds great promise to support patients

with such inherent weaknesses in a convenient and consistent

manner, without side effects.

Nattokinase is capable of directly and potently

decomposing fibrin as well as activating pro-urokinase (endogenous).

Research In The United States

Dr. Martin Milner of the Center for Natural Medicine

in Portland, Oregon and Dr. Kouhei Makise of the Imadeqawa Makise

Clinica in Kyoto, Japan were able to launch a joint research

project on nattokinase and write an extensive paper on their

findings. “In all my years of research as a professor of

cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine, natto and nattokinase

represents the most exciting new development in the prevention

and treatment of cardiovascular related diseases,” Dr.

Milner said. “We have finally found a potent natural agent

that can thin and dissolve clots effectively, with relative

safety and without side effects.” 1

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.1

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% 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

Traditionaly 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. 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.

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.

References

  1. Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke with Potent

    Enzyme that Dissolves Deadly Blood Clots in Hours. Health Sciences

    Institute, March 2002.

  2. Maruyama M, Sumi H. Effect of Natto Diet on Blood Pressure.

    JTTAS, 1995.

  3. Sumi H, Hamada H, Nakanishi K, Hiratani H. Enhancement of

    the fibrinolytic activity in plasma by oral administration of

    nattokinase. Acta Haematol 1990;84(3):139-43.

  4. Sumi H, Hamada H, Mihara H. A novel strong fibrinolytic enzyme

    (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese “natto.” International

    5. Journal of Fibronolysis and Thrombolysis. Abstracts of the

    ninth international congress on fibrinolysis, Amsterdam, 1988,

    Vol.2, Sup.1:67.

  5. Sumi H, Hamada H, Tsushima H, Mihara H, Muraki H. A novel

    fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese Natto;

    a typical and popular soybean food in the Japanese diet. Experientia

    1987, Oct 15;43(10):1110-1.

  6. Sumi H. Healthy Microbe “Bacillus natto”. Japan

    Bio Science Laboratory Co. Ltd

  7. Sumi H. Interview With Doctor of Medicine Hiroyuki Sumi.

    Japan Bio Science Laboratory Co. Ltd.

  8. Sumi H. Structure and Fibronolytic Properties of Nattokinase.

These statements have not been evaluated by the

Food and Drug Administration.

This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent

any disease.
Copyright © 2001, 2002 Allergy Research Group® All

rights reserved.

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