Cactus moves to meet Western demand for nattokinase

By Jess Halliday

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cholesterol Bacillus

Cactus Botanics is launching nattokinase in the United States, as the research mounts up on the enzyme’s potential in heart health supplements.

Nattokinase is an enzyme derived from natto, a fermented soy food that is popular in Japan and other parts of Asia. Awareness of the potential is relatively low in the West but is starting to grow as several studies have investigated its antioxidant ability.

“Nattokinase is very attractive in the heart health marketplace as it is both an antioxidant and can have a favourable impact on cholesterol,”​ said Carol Cheow, general manager of Cactus Botanicals.

The company says its white powdered nattokinase can be mixed with dextrin or other carbohydrates for use in capsules and tablets. It is available in two versions, one with an activity of 12000 fibrin units per gram (fu/g), and one of 20,000fu/g.

Cheow told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the company has recently developed the technology to extract nattokinase from natto with stable quality.

Natto, from which the enzyme is derived, is made by fermenting boiled soybeans with bacillus natto​. Cactus Botanic is producing it in China.

Research

In support of its new ingredient, Cactus Botanics cites a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2002, which looked at the effect of water-soluble natto in inhibiting LDL cholesterol oxidation in rats.

Other recent studies include research from a Taiwanese team, published in Nutrition Research last year, which indicated that Nattokinase may reduce levels of compounds linked to blood clotting, and cut the risk of heart disease in people at-risk of the disease.

Another team from Taiwan also reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​ that a lab study suggested nattokinase may prevent the build up of amyloid plaques, linked to Alzheimer’s, in the brain.

Marketplace

Cactus is not alone in recognising the potential of nattokinase in the US. Other suppliers in the marketplace include Japan Bio Science Laboratory-USA, Enzyme USA and Amano Enzyme USA.

References

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​2002, Volume 50, 3592-3596“Inhibitory effect of natto, a kind of fermented soybeans, on LDL oxidation in vitro”​Authors: R.-L. Hsu, K.-T. Lee, J.-H. Wang, L.Y.-L. Lee, R.P.-Y. Chen

Nutrition Research​Volume 29, Issue 3, Pages 190-196“Nattokinase decreases plasma levels of fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII in human subjects”​Authors: C.-H. Hsia, M.-C. Shen, J.-S. Lin, Y.-K. Wen, K.-L. Hwang, T.-M. Cham, N.-C. Yang

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry​2009, Volume 57, Issue 2, Pages 503-508, doi: 10.1021/jf803072r“Amyloid-Degrading Ability of Nattokinase from ​Bacillus subtilis Natto”​Authors: R.-L. Hsu, K.-T. Lee, J.-H. Wang, L.Y.-L. Lee, R.P.-Y. Chen

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