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Nattokinase is a systemic enzyme isolated from the traditional Japanese soy food, natto. It has been shown to support healthy blood flow by assisting the circulatory clearing system of the body.
Nattokinase is a soybean food content. It is a 275 amino acid peptide. It is said to have similar clot-dissolving abilities as does plasmin, an enzyme that we all have in our blood as our natural defense mechanism to dissolve unwanted blood clots. The "clot busters" used in clinical medicine (tPA=tissue plasminogen activator, streptokinase, urokinase, etc) to dissolve blood clots that have led to heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, all work through enhancing plasmin's action. They have to be given intravenously, because they are not active when given orally.
Nattokinase increases the clot dissolving activities (= fibrinolytic activity) of blood in animals and human volunteers and that it suppresses clot formation and enhances clot resolution in animals. However, to my knowledge, only one clinical study has been performed to assess whether Nattokinase has any real benefit in the prevention of blood clots in humans. In that study (reference 7) Nattokinase or placebo were given to individuals prior to long distance (7-8 hours) flights. Of the 92 individuals in the placebo group 7 developed a clot, all without symptoms, discovered by ultrasound; of the 94 individuals in the Nattokinase group none developed a clot. Main flaw of the study, limiting the usefulness of its conclusions, is, that the publication does not indicate whether this was a double-blinded study, or, at least, an investigator-blinded study. A non-blinded study has the potential for bias, limiting the validity of its findings and conclusions.