There are few things that are certain in health and medicine, but one thing is for sure…
Heart disease is not caused by simply having high cholesterol; in fact, it’s a very complex condition characterized by multiple causes, of which, cholesterol is the least of your worries…
Within your blood is a compound called fibrinogen that is a good friend to you when you’re injured and bleeding because it lays down the framework which your body uses to clot and prevent you from bleeding to death.
When you have the right amount of fibrinogen, it’s healthy and normal. Elevated fibrinogen, however, is a significant risk factor for heart disease and heart attack. By setting the stage for clotting, fibrinogen can not only speed the progression of plaques in the arteries but also cause immediate clots in the blood that can lead to heart attack, stroke and deep vein thrombosis.
Nattokinase As a Remedy For Elevated Fibrinogen
Nattokinase is an enzyme that helps to digest fibrinogen, which works to normalize the clotting process and prevent unnecessary and potentially harmful blockages. Best of all, it appears to achieve this benefit without increasing the risk of hemorrhage (inappropriate bruising or bleeding).
The majority of the research to date has assessed the impact of nattokinase in the diet of Asian cultures. Few studies have been performed on the nattokinase supplements and how they impact fibrinogen levels.
Recently, scientists completed a study that was designed to see how nattokinase impacts the levels of fibrinogen as well as a number of other clotting factors. Scientists gave 45 healthy subjects, two capsules of nattokinase standardized to 2000 FU each day for 2 months. At the end of the study, fibrinogen levels dropped by 7-10%, Factor VII dropped by 7-14% and Factor VIII dropped by 17-19%.
What This Means For You
I’m glad to see that the researchers are beginning to test the health potential of nattokinase. This study used a fairly modest dose of nattokinase in otherwise healthy subjects. I hypothesize that when they start to study people who have elevated fibrinogen along with higher risks of heart disease we will see even more significant drops in fibrinogen.
Ultimately I hope to see studies that also evaluate outcomes such as risk of heart attack, stroke, etc. I do recommend nattokinase as a tool for people at high risk of heart attack, stroke and/or those who are diagnosed with high levels of fibrinogen.
Nattokinase would make a suitable alternative to aspirin therapy in many people. Time will tell if nattokinase could even replace Plavix and Coumadin in many patients who have high risk of clots but for whom Coumadin or Plavix would be too risky. For now, we must wait and see.
If you are currently at high risk of heart attack or stroke, the recommended dose of nattokinase is 2,000 FU potency units two-three times daily. We recommend the Doctor’s Best Nattokinase in our practice.
- Nutr Res, 2009; 29(3): 190-6