August 23, 2016

Nattokinase

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What other names is Nattokinase known by?

BSP, Extrait de Natto, Fermented Soybeans, Haricots de Soja Fermentés, Natto de Soja, Natto Extract, Nattokinasa, NK, Soy Natto, Subtilisin NAT.

What is Nattokinase?

Nattokinase is an enzyme (a protein that speeds up biochemical reactions) that is extracted from a popular Japanese food called natto. Natto is boiled soybeans that have been fermented with a bacterium called Bacillus natto.

Natto has been used as a folk remedy for diseases of the heart and circulatory system (cardiovascular disease) for hundreds of years. Nattokinase, the chemical in natto that is probably responsible for its effects, was discovered by a University of Chicago researcher, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi.

You won't find nattokinase in soy foods other than natto, since nattokinase is produced through the specific fermentation process used to make natto.

Nattokinase is used for cardiovascular diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, chest pain (angina), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), "hardening of the arteries" (atherosclerosis), hemorrhoids, varicose veins, poor circulation, and peripheral artery disease (PAD).

It is also used for pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, muscle spasms, infertility, cancer, and a vitamin-deficiency disease called beriberi.

Possibly Effective for...

  • High blood pressure. Research suggests that taking nattokinase (NSK II, Japan Bio Sciences Laboratories Company Ltd., Japan) daily for 8 weeks can reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). There is some evidence that taking a specific combination product (Flite Tabs) might decrease the chance of getting a blood clot in the legs during long plane flights. This product combines a blend of 150 mg of nattokinase plus pycnogenol. Two capsules are taken 2 hours before the flight and then again 6 hours later.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Angina.
  • "Hardening of the ateries" (atherosclerosis).
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Poor circulation.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD).
  • Pain.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Endometriosis.
  • Uterine fibroids.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Infertility.
  • Cancer.
  • Beriberi.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of nattokinase for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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