Nattokinase has been used in Japan to treat heart and inflammatory diseases for over twenty years. It is a protease (protein digesting) enzyme extracted from the traditional Japanese food, natto. Natto made by the fermentation of boiled soybeans by the bacteria Bacillus natto. Natto has a strong taste and smell and texture that can be an acquired taste.

Nattokinase is similar to plasmin, an enzyme present in the blood that degrades certain plasma proteins, notably fibrin, the protein responsible for blood clots. A deficiency in plasmin may lead to thrombosis, a condition where clots form in the blood vessels. Clots forming in the blood vessels can cause arterial blockages, including heart attacks and stroke. To reduce the risk of these clots forming, doctors often prescribe blood thinners or aspirin.

Scientific analysis has shown that the enzymes produced by the fungi Aspergillus oryzae and A. melleus will also break down fibrin. These enzymes are created by controlled fermentation of Aspergillus oryzae and A. melleus and have similar properties to nattokinase. These enzymes go by the trade name nattozymes.

Antithrombotic Agents

Nattokinase enzyme structureNattokinase and nattozymes have a thrombolytic effect (meaning they can help to break up a clot that is obstructing a blood vessel) and a fibrinolytic effect (which means they break up or digest the fibrin in a blood clot). These effects may help to avoid heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, strokes and other clotting disorders.

These enzymes are effective in a wide range of pH (from 2.75 to 7.75) and can pass through the stomach without being digested by stomach acids Once in the intestines, they are actively transported through the gut wall and are absorbed intact.

If you have deep vein thrombosis (DVI), varicose veins, or a tendency to develop blood clots, you may wish to try a nattokinase enzyme product. It can be helpful to take when traveling on a plane or car as the inactivity tends to increase the risk of blood clots. Typically, you take one capsule between meals on an empty stomach twice daily.

Do not use nattokinase or nattozyme enzymes if you are already taking anticoagulants, aspirin, blood thinning medications like coumadin, or other medicines or herbs that thin the blood. Do not use if you have a bleeding disorder or if are allergic to Aspergillus.

Selected References

  • Nattokinase by M. Fujita, et al, PMID: 8280151 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]. Accessed 2007 from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  • Nattozymes, a 1:1 alternate for Nattokinase. Accessed 2007 from www.nattozymes.com.

Steven's Articles

Nattokinase and Nattozymes
Enzymes that inhibit thrombosis and help to dissolve blood clots

July

Motherwort
A traditional remedy for mothers, that helps calm…

Prickly Ash
A circulatory stimulant for easing pain, damaged…

Improving Venous Circulation with Butcher's Broom
A valuable herb for varicose veins, chronic venous…

Guggul Resin
Guggul promotes healthy circulation, reduces inflammation,…

June

The Relaxing Power of Linden
Linden is a remedy for hypertension, anxiety,…

The Benefits of Enhancing Nitric Oxide
Enhance NO levels to improve health and circulation

Bugleweed
A Calming Remedy for the Thyroid and Heart

Garlic for Cardiovascular Health
Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and…

May

The Cheshire Cat Remedy: Agrimony
A remedy for people who hide their pain and stress…

Wild Indigo or Baptisia
A Powerful Herbal Remedy for Sepsis and Severe Infection

Dulse: Medicine from the Sea
A natural supplement for iodine, silicon, and…

April

Yellow Dock
A Natural Iron Supplement and Blood Purifier for…

Parsley: More Than a Garnish
A medicinal food for promoting healthy kidneys and digestion

Horsetail and Health
Bring strength and flexibility to your body and…

Strategies for HealthPicking herbal remediesJoin Steven for Strategies for Health Consulting

If you’re looking to help people solve their health problems using natural remedies, I want to help you. I’ve helped train successful herbalists and natural healers for over 35 years. So, if you want to develop or improve your ability to help others, join me for Strategies for Health Consulting. In this class, I will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to do health consultations that will help people move beyond the symptomatic relief offered by modern medicine into lasting healing.

The class is $135 for all 7 sessions. The book Strategies for Health Consulting is available separately for $39.95.

Register for Strategies for Health Consulting