Nattokinase is Back: Powerful Blood-Thinning Enzyme Approved for Sale in Canada
“Nattokinase breaks down fibrinogen, a component of blood clots and atherosclerotic plaque. Elevated fibrinogen levels are another clear risk factor for cardiovascular disease.” ~ Dr. Michael Murray (2018)
A few months ago, I published an article in Vitality about three powerful enzymes with significant cardiovascular benefits including their effect as natural blood thinners. I also mentioned that two of them, nattokinase and lumbrokinase, were not approved for sale in Canada. But since then, Health Canada has reversed its stance and recently allowed an NPN (Natural Product Number) to be assigned to a new nattokinase product formulated by a local Canadian company.
I’m not sure I had anything to do with this new development, but I’ve been complaining in Vitality magazine about the unavailability of this natural health product for nearly a decade. Those Canadians who wanted to get their hands on nattokinase were obliged to purchase it from American websites or smuggle it across the border. So it’s good to know that hard-earned Canadian money will no longer be flowing towards American suppliers of nattokinase now that it can be purchased here in local stores.
Prescription Blood Thinners Linked to Thousands of Deaths
Death should never be an acceptable side effect of a prescription drug. Yet, that’s exactly what we are seeing with a new wave of drugs like Xarelto, Pradaxa, and Eliquis. Warfarin (rat poison) was a bad enough blood thinner as far as side effects were concerned. With these new chemicals, we are seeing even worse outcomes. The exact number of deaths is uncertain, but reports of deaths in the U.S. among patients taking such drugs are in the thousands. As a result, there are thousands of lawsuits being launched against the drug companies manufacturing these newer blood thinners. Class action lawsuits are also in the works.
Despite this, doctors continue to prescribe such drugs at a very high rate. And yet few, if any, of the patients whom I’ve followed over the past few years – who are on these drugs prescribed by their cardiologists – have the faintest idea of how deadly blood thinners can be. Didn’t we have enough drug deaths already with prescription opiates, Vioxx, Avandia, Fosamax, and dozens of others?
These newer anticoagulants are designed to prevent strokes in those with heart rhythm abnormalities like atrial fibrillation. Yet, new studies show that the drugs actually increase the risk of stroke.
An Alternative to Prescription Blood Thinners
While life threatening conditions like atrial fibrillation require aggressive intervention, using life threatening drugs is clearly not the answer. Natural blood thinners like nattokinase do not increase the risk of stroke in anyone and there is a great deal of evidence of its effectiveness in preventing stroke, blood clots, and high blood pressure.
Nattokinase will be a boon to those who want to avoid using prescription blood thinners with deadly side effects. I first heard about it a decade ago at a lecture by Dr. Jonathan Wright. He recommended using a dose (100 mg) every 8 hours along with fish oils (omega-3).
Nattokinase has been found to dissolve dangerously high levels of the clot-producing protein called fibrinogen, while omega-3 just acts as a lube job for the arteries. So I would dare to say that nattokinase combined with omega-3 supplements has all the abilities of a statin drug, without the side effects.
What is nattokinase? It is an enzyme isolated from natto, a traditional Japanese food eaten for millennia, made from fermented soybeans. Japanese folklore medicine has traditionally used it for improving cardiovascular health. Studies show that, taken orally, nattokinase can break down and dissolve fibrinogen, a component of blood clots and plaques in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Nattokinase increases the body’s production of plasmin and other thrombolytic enzymes such as urokinase. It improves blood viscosity and circulation in general. Regular use of nattokinase can lower high systolic and high diastolic blood pressure. It also helps optimize blood cholesterol.
Since nattokinase is derived from soy, there are those who will worry about soy allergies or hormone disruptions caused by soy. This is of no concern with nattokinase because, when soy is fermented, its effects on hormones are eliminated. A nattokinase supplement is the purified enzyme extracted from natto. There is no soy left in the enzyme supplement.
Most recently, nattokinase has been shown to relieve nasal inflammation, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), and nasal polyps. No side effects have ever been reported when nattokinase is taken on its own – without blood thinning drugs, anti-hypertensives, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and it does not lower blood pressure in those who usually have normal readings. It is well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and does not require injections. And there are zero reports of bleeding from anywhere in those using this enzyme on its own.
Caveat: Potential side effects like excessive bleeding or bruising can occur when nattokinase is taken in conjunction with blood thinning drugs, aspirin, NSAIDs, or anti-hypertensive medication. So, if you are taking any of these drugs on a regular basis, see a natural healthcare provider who can guide you with using nattokinase.
Other Nattokinase Uses
“Many of us have heard or read about nattokinase, a safe, natural substance proven to prevent and eliminate clots, literally ‘eating them up’.” ~ Dr. Jonathan Wright, 2017
In addition to the more popular uses outlined previously, these are some of the lesser known uses of nattokinase:
– Peripheral vascular disease: arterial atherosclerosis or venous thrombosis; spider veins, hemorrhoids, varicose veins
– Senile dementia due to poor circulation or cerebral thrombi formation
– Relief from chronic migraine because platelet aggregation implicated in migraines; Ischemic stroke prevention
– Treatment for fibromyalgia, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Lyme Disease (where chronic infection leads to fibrin deposition)
– Helps with dysmenorrhea (painful menses) because excessive clotting can cause painful cramping
– Helps with joint and muscle pain
– Eases bone pain caused by excessive blood clotting
– Breaks down unwanted waste in blood
– Breaks down undigested proteins in the gut
Note: Nattokinase is not recognized by mainstream conventional medical authorities as a safe or effective alternative to prescription anticoagulants. (It is also true that if you’re not up on something, you’re usually down on it.)
By the way, the Canadian manufacturer now approved to sell nattokinase supplements is Tristar Naturals. For more information visit: https://tinyurl.com/nattoinfosheet or www.tristarnaturals.com Look for nattokinase in health stores across Canada in February.
- The Top Three Therapeutic Enzymes – Vitality magazine and www.vitalitymagazine.com: https://tinyurl.com/ybh856o4
- Yunqi Weng, Jian Yao, Sawyer Sparks, and Kevin Yueju Wang,* Nattokinase: An Oral Antithrombotic Agent for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Mar; 18(3): 523. Published online 2017 Feb 28. doi: [10.3390/ijms18030523]
- Nattokinase Information and Research: https://tinyurl.com/y93jouue
- Blood-thinning drugs actually increase stroke risk. https://tinyurl.com/ydh67dvx
- Pradaxa drug linked to deaths – The Guardian: https://tinyurl.com/yd4gp8n8
- Eliquis drug linked to deaths – “Drug Injury Law”: https://tinyurl.com/y9ovm7pb
- Lawsuits against makers of prescription blood thinners: https://tinyurl.com/yc9maedh
- Dr. Jonathan Wright – “Allergy Research Group Newsletter” commentary on Nattokinase: https://tinyurl.com/y8vsy3ga
- Dr. J. Wright quote: https://www.anh-usa.org/reduceyourriskofstroke/
- Dr. Michael Murray quote: https://doctormurray.com/nattokinase-for-nasal-polyps-and-as-a-mucolytic/
- Maruyama M, Sumi H, Effect of Natto Diet on Blood Pressure, JTTAS, 1995
- Sumi H, Hamada H, Nakanishi K, Hiratani H, Enhancement of the Fibrinolytic Activity in plasma by oral administration of nattokinase, Acta Haematol, 1990, 84: 139-43
- Suzuki Y, Kondo K, Matsumoto Y, Zhao BQ, Otsuguro K, Maeda T, Tsukamoto Y, Urano T, Umemura K, Dietary supplementation of fermented soybean, natto, suppresses intimal thickening and modulates the lysis of mural thrombi after endothelial injury in rat femoral artery, LifeSci 2003 73: 1289-98
- Takabayashi T, Imoto Y, Sakashita M, et al. Nattokinase, profibrinolytic enzyme, effectively shrinks nasal polyp tissue and decreases viscosity of mucus. Allergol Int. 2017 Oct; 66(4):594-602.
- Natural health benefits of nattokinase: https://tinyurl.com/y934x6kn
- Nattokinase a statin drug alternative: https://tinyurl.com/y7x6ebj8
- Nattokinase: A Promising Alternative in Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases: https://tinyurl.com/y8ecg3ok
- Eight Great Nattokinase Benefits: https://www.selfhacked.com/blog/nattokinase/
- Yuko Kurosawa, Shinsuke Nirengi, Toshiyuki Homma, Kazuki Esaki, Mitsuhiro Ohta, Joseph F. Clark & Takafumi Hamaoka. A single-dose of oral nattokinase potentiates thrombolysis and anti- coagulation profiles. www.nature.com/scientificreports. June 2015.
- Yung-Yee Chang, Jia-Shou Liu, Shung-Lon Lai, Hsiu-Shan Wu and Min-Yu Lan. Cerebellar Hemorrhage Provoked by Combined Use of Nattokinase and Aspirin in a Patient with Cerebral Microbleeds. Inter Med 47: 467-469, 2008. DOI: 10.2169/internalmedicine.47.0620