Scientifically proven health benefits of nattokinase

1) Support clean & unclogged blood vessels

Study 1: In a clinical trial, healthy young men (average age 22.3) were orally administered a single dose of 2,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® or placebo and their blood samples were collected at 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours after administration. Based on the results, nattokinase NSK-SD® promoted fibrinolysis (i.e. breaking down of blood clots) and anticoagulation.

Study 2: In this study, the effects of nattokinase NSK-SD® on in vitro platelet aggregation and in vivo thrombosis were investigated in comparison with aspirin, an antiplatelet medicine.

In the first part of the study, rabbit platelet-rich plasma was mixed and incubated with nattokinase NSK-SD®, as well as aggregation inducers collagen and thrombin. Results showed that nattokinase NSK-SD® significantly suppressed both the collagen- and thrombin-induced platelet aggregation, and the suppressive effects are milder as compared to aspirin.

In the second part of the study, rats were orally administered nattokinase NSK-SD® or aspirin for 1 week, and their  major blood vessels in the neck were exposed.  Arterial thrombosis (i.e. formation of blood clot in artery) was then induced by applying FeCl3 outside the arterial wall. Nattokinase NSK-SD® delayed the FeCl3-induced arterial blockage in a dose-dependent manner with a high dose (500 mg/kg) of nattokinase fully suppressed the blockage, as achieved with aspirin (30 mg/kg). By suppressing platelet aggregation and delays thrombosis following oxidative arterial wall injury, nattokinase NSK-SD® helps improve blood flow.

2) Support healthy blood flow

In a clinical trial, healthy subjects (aged 30s – 40s) were orally administered 2,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® in the fasting state and their blood flow was measured at baseline (0 min), 40, 80, 120 and 180 minutes after administration. After a washout period of 2 weeks, the same subjects were orally administered placebo under the same condition. From the results, administration of nattokinase NSK-SD® increased blood flow. This suggests the potential use of nattokinase NSK-SD® on individuals with circulatory problems.

3) Support healthy blood pressure

Study 1: In a clinical trial, Asian subjects (aged 20 – 80) who have suffered from pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension with initial untreated systolic blood pressure (SBP) of 130 to 159 mmHg were orally administered 2,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® or placebo daily for 8 weeks. Compared to placebo, nattokinase NSK-SD® significantly lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Study 2: In a clinical trial, North American subjects (aged 18 – 85) with elevated blood pressure (i.e. systolic BP ≥ 130 or diastolic BP ≥ 90 mmHg) were orally administered 2,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® or placebo daily for 8 weeks, and their blood samples were collected at baseline (before treatment) and at week 8. Administration of nattokinase NSK-SD® reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, as well as decreasing von Willebrand factor (vWF), a cardiovascular risk marker.

Nattokinase NSK-SD® reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in hypertensive subjects

4) Support healthy blood viscosity

In an in vitro study, blood samples from healthy adults were mixed and incubated with different dosages of nattokinase, which was followed by assessment of red blood cell (RBC) aggregation. Nattokinase treatment decreased RBC aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. This suggests the potential application of nattokinase on patients with higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.

5) Reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)

Study 1: An increase of plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) levels in blood has been shown to precede the occurrence of a heart attack. Several factors, including obesity, high blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, stress and inflammation may increase PAI-1, in which blood clots could not be broken down easily. Hence, PA1-1 appears to be a risk marker for the development and recurrence of cardiovascular diseases due to blood coagulation. In an in vitro study, nattokinase was shown to reduce PAI-1 activity in a dose-dependent manner.

Study 2: Chronic inflammation plays a key role in the development of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). C-reactive protein (CRP) has been justified by The American Heart Association as an independent clinical marker for inflammation and CVD risk.

In a clinical trial, subjects with cardiovascular risk factors orally administered one dose of 2,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® and their blood was drawn for CRP testing. Nattokinase NSK-SD® was shown to reduces CRP levels.

6) Safe administration along with blood thinners

a) Combined administration of nattokinase NSK-SD®, heparin and anti-platelet drugs:

In a clinical trial, adult patients (average age 53.3) with acute ischaemic stroke were orally administered 2,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® 3 times (total 6,000 FU) a day at 8-hour interval for a period of 7 days. During these 7 days, the patients were also administred 0.4ml low molecular weight heparin (anti-factor Xa, 3,800 IU) 2 times a day by hypodermic injection and low-dose aspirin (150 – 325mg) or clopidogrel. Heparin (anticoagulant drug), aspirin and clopidogrel (anti-platelet drugs) are all blood thinners. In  this study, all patients were hospitalized within 6 hours of stroke occurrence and the treatment was administered after hospitalisation. The overall efficacy data suggests that nattokinase NSK-SD® does not lead to progression of underlying stroke. Instead, the combined administration is proposed to enhance fibrinolysis (breaking down of blood clots) and the beneficial effects on stroke patients were observed.

b) Combined administration of nattokinase NSK-SD® and warfarin:

In a clinical trial, patients with CVDs who were taking warfarin potassium tablets at a maintenance dose (1.5 < PT-INR < 3.0) were orally administered 2 doses of 1,700 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® after breakfast and dinner daily for 6 months. Some of these patients noticed an improvement in clinical symptoms (i.e. shortness of breath, cold hands and feet) and biochemical profiles, which includes activated  partial  thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), D-dimer and plasmin  inhibitor  complex (PIC). All patients taking nattokinase NSK-SD® did not have side effects. This study suggests that nattokinase NSK-SD® is safe and effective for CVD patients who are taking warfarin.

7) Support healthy immunity

In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 10 healthy males (mean age 30.2) were orally administered a single-dose of 4,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® or placebo with subsequent crossover of the groups. At 6 hours following administration, their blood samples were collected and analysed for natural killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells are a type of immune cells necessary in the early immune response in defense against viral infections. Furthermore, their body (tympanic) temperature and blood pressure were also measured. Based on the results, administration of single-dose of 4,000 FU nattokinase NSK-SD® enhanced the activity of NK cells. Besides, Nattokinase NSK-SD® also increased body temperature. Since the tested subjcts are healthy individuals, nattokinase NSK-SD® had no significant effect on the blood pressure.

Beware of counterfeit nattokinase!

Nattokinase is a unique enzyme that can be distinguished by several test methods, including comparison of Oxidized Insulin Chain B Degradation Pattern. Even with readily available test methods, there are still many companies claimed and marketed counterfeit enzymes as nattokinase. These enzymes include peptidase, protease and chungkinase that are produced from similar Bacillus species or fungi (Aspergillus oryzae) in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and the USA. Despite the fact that they could degrade fibrin in a petri dish (in vitro), there is no indication that they could work the same in human body (in vivo). Furthermore, it is important to note that the comprehensive safety and potency data of nattokinase NSK-SD® could not be applied to these counterfeit nattokinase.

Belows shows the comparison between authentic and counterfeit nattokinase. Using purified nattokinase as the gold standard, it is clear that NSK-SD® developed by Japan Bio Science Laboratory is an authentic nattokinase (same pattern as gold standard), while the rest are different from nattokinase (as shown by different patterns from gold standard) even though they are claimed as nattokinase on their labels.