Study shows natto enzyme helps break down blood clots, benefits blood flow

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Natto. Image © iStockPhoto / yumehana
Natto. Image © iStockPhoto / yumehana
Japan Bio Science Laboratory, a company that has been developing a nattokinase ingredient, has released research results bolstering the ingredient’s effects at combating the formation of abnormal blood clots and benefiting blood flow.

Nattokinase is derived from the fermented soy food natto, which was developed in and is popular in Japan. JBSL brands its ingredient as NSK-SD and sells it in the US, where it can be found in more than 80 skus and in 11 other countries. JBSL has been developing the ingredient for more than 7 years​.

“This success comes down to our relentless commitment to the science behind our product,” ​Vincent Hackel, president of JBSL-USA, told NutraIngredients-USA.

“We firmly believe that demonstrating efficacy through clinical trials will drive marketing in the future,” ​he added. “We are eager to partner with brands that do not yet have NSK-SD in their formulas and share in the cost of producing clinical work on their proprietary formulas.”

Study details

The most recent study enrolled 12 healthy young males. Following the baseline blood draw, each subject was randomized to receive either a single-dose of 2,000 FU NK (NSK-SD, Japan Bio Science Laboratory Co., Ltd) or placebo with subsequent cross-over of the groups. Subjects donated blood samples at 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours following administration for analysis of coagulation/fibrinolysis parameters.

As a result, D-dimer concentrations at 6, and 8 hours, and blood fibrin/fibrinogen degradation products at 4 hours after NK administration elevated significantly. Factor VIII activity declined at 4 and 6 hours, blood antithrombin concentration was higher at 2 and 4 hours, and the activated partial thromboplastin time prolonged significantly at 2 and 4 hours following NK administration. All the changes, however, were within the normal range. In conclusion, thus, a single-dose of NK administration appears enhancing fibrinolysis and anti-coagulation via several different pathways simultaneously.

Expanding awareness

“The study results further add to the scientific evidence demonstrating the ability of NSK-SD nattokinase to provide thrombolysis and anti-coagulation benefits,”​ Hackel said. 

JBSL is a member of the Japan NattoKinase Association​, an industry association in Japan, which is committed to increasing awareness with consumers on the healthful benefits of nattokinase and validating products that claim to contain nattokinase, explained Hackel. 

“Although this organization presently is primarily based in Japan, they encourage membership from the US, which would provide them with the resources to undertake marketing in the US to consumers,” ​Hackel said.

Members of the association include JBSL, Horn, the US distributor, and Jarrow Formulas, which manufactures a product containing the ingredient.

“A single-dose of oral nattokinase potentiates thrombolysis and anti-coagulation profiles”
Scientific Reports​ 5, Article number: 11601 (2015)
Authors: Yuko Kurosawa, et al

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