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Japanese Ingredient Nattokinase May Help Combat Blood Clots and Improve Blood Flow

Blood clots can be extremely dangerous, leading to cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke. A recent study suggests that nattokinase (NK) — which is derived from the fermented soy food natto — may help combat the formation of abnormal blood clots and improve blood flow.


Participants in the study included 12 healthy young men. The researchers drew blood at the baseline of the study, after which the participants were given either a single-dose of 2,000 FU nattokinases or a placebo. The researchers drew blood again after 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours.


At the six and eight hour mark, the researchers noted elevated levels of D-dimer concentrations. D-dimer is a small protein fragment that is present after a blood clot has been degraded. They also noted significantly elevated blood fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products (more indications of blood clot degradation) four hours after the participants took the NK and a decline in factor VIII (a blood protein involved in clotting) activity at the four and six hour points. Finally, they noted significantly prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time (a test that characterizes blood coagulation) at two and four hours.


Researchers from Japan Bio Science Laboratory conducted the study. It was published on June 25, 2015, in Scientific Reports.


Nattokinase is an enzyme that is extracted and purified from the Japanese fermented soy food natto. Previous studies suggest that nattokinase may help reduce the levels of toxic amyloid fibrils that build up in the brain and are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.


While nattokinase is has been a common part of the Japanese diet for thousands of years, it is not very common in the Western diet. If you’re looking to add more nattokinase to your diet, consider a high quality supplement.

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