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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
Thrombosis (blood clotting) patients are often prescribed drug treatments, but there is also interest in nattokinase, an enzyme derived from fermented soybean food natto.
Thrombosis (blood clotting) patients are often prescribed drug treatments, but there is also interest in nattokinase, an enzyme derived from fermented soybean food natto, as a more-natural support for thrombosis. In a recent study, researchers explored the effects of a single 2000-FU (fibrinolytic units) dose of nattokinase to determine its effects on anti-coagulation and fibrinolysis (a process that prevents blood clots from growing).
The double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was performed on 12 subjects. During each arm of the study, subjects were given either a placebo or 2000 FU of the NSK-SD brand of nattokinase from Japan Bio Science Laboratory (Walnut Creek, CA). Blood was drawn at baseline and at 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours into the study.
In intervention subjects, the researchers found that D-dimer concentrations increased, indicating fibrinolysis had occurred. D-dimer, a protein fragment formed during fibrinolysis, is often measured when testing for thrombosis.
Researchers also found that NK intervention helped increase blood antithrombin concentrations after 2 and 4 hours of supplementation. Antithrombin is a protein that inactivates enzymes of the coagulation system and is “one of the most important physiological regulators for blood coagulation cascade,” the researchers wrote. They also determined that factor VIII activity (also an indicator of thrombosis) declined after NK intake.
The researchers said these changes were in the normal range.
“This study provides the first evidence of [nattokinase’s] ability to enhance fibrinolysis and antithrombosis contemporaneously after a single dose of oral [nattokinase] administration in human[s],” the researchers wrote. “Based on [nattokinase’s] unique, comparatively strong fibrinolytic/anticoagulant activity, stability in the gastrointestinal tract, and long bioavailability in vivo, [nattokinase] would appear to offer potential advantages over other currently used agents for treatment and/or prevention of selected disease processes.”
Nutritional Outlook magazine
1. Kurosawa Y et al., “A single-dose of oral nattokinase potentiates thrombolysis and anti-coagulation profiles,” Scientific Reports. Published online June 25, 2015.