Notes on High Blood Pressure

This information is not meant to be a cure.

ATTENTION: There is a new supplement that many people are taking instead of the Statin drugs. It works extremely well and quickly — NATTOKINASE.
This is a soy enzyme and it also stimulates circulation in the extremeties so itmay be helpful for those with Raynaud’s Disease.

For High Cholesterol, I am now recommending Non-Flushing Niacin. I take 1000 mgs twice a day because I do not have high cholesterol but a hospital in Arizona recommended to a friend with very high cholerterol to take 1500 mgs twice a day.
Her cholesterol dropped within a few days.

High Blood Pressure should not be taken lightly. One client worked with her doctor in reducing her blood pressure, adding supplements until she could totally get off the medications. Always work with your health practitioner, especially when dealing with High Blood Pressure!!!

I consult with a licensed herbalist, Tina Pirrone, who owns the Sage Moon Herb Shop in Berkeley Springs WV. She is prompt in getting out herbs, teas and supplements that I require, and she knows the interaction with drugs. I receive so many requests for this information but, as Tina says, there is no Magic Bullet and it is not a condition to self–medicate. Please work with your health practitioner!!

I contacted Tina about High Blood Pressure and she gave me the following information:

For High Blood Pressure: It’s not a simple magic bullet approach, though some herbs are specifically hypotensive like Linden, Olive leaf extract, Yarrow and Coleus Forskohlii (Lowers blood pressure and improves heart function). You really have to look at the whole person.

It is important to treat endocrine and nervous system too:
Adaptogens like Ashwagandha (calming adaptogen), or Reishi (calms the “Shen” – mind, good for nerves, or Rhodiola which is kind of specific to Cardio-Vascular issues or Eleuthero also for chronic stress.

Then the Nervous system things like Fresh Oat tincture (this tincture must be made fresh by an herbalist), Linden, Lemon Balm or Chamomile.

Herbs called Cardio-Tonics are useful to strengthen the whole Cardio-Vascular system. Hawthorne is one of the best and can lower BP by improving cardiac function in general. Motherwort is useful as a good nervine and for “white coat” hypertension.

Then, I need to ask: What is going on w/circulation? Do you need to relax the vascular structures and muscles? Or do you need to tone it up?

Tina has recommended HerbPharm tinctures and I am very pleased with their effects.


In my medical excerpts, I have found the following information:

  1. Substituting soy nuts for other protein sources in a healthy diet appears to lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women, and also may reduce cholesterol levels in women with high blood pressure, according to a report in Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals
  2. Eating about 30 calories a day of dark chocolate was associated with a lowering of blood pressure, without weight gain or other adverse effects, according to a study in the July 4 issue of JAMA
  3. Many patients with high blood pressure have sought relief from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). In so doing, many have consumed Danshen, a Chinese herb used in Oriental medicine that promotes blood flow and treats cardiovascular disease. (Jan 2007)
  4. Dairy peptides significantly decrease blood pressure, British Journal of Nutrition paper – Google this for supplier.
    From Medical News Today: Swanson Ultra C12 Peption could be just what you need! Cardiovascular maintenance is one of the nation’s leading healthcare concerns for both men and women. Fortunately, with healthy lifestyle choices and good nutrition, you can do something about it, and Swanson Ultra C12 Peption may lend the support you need to accomplish this goal. An all-natural peptide derived from milk protein casein, C12 Peption works with the body’s natural enzymatic processes by inhibiting angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). Vessels remain relaxed and wide open for a free flow of blood, which is one of the most effective ways to keep blood pressure within the healthy range. MEDICAL NEWS Reports that Peptides boost the immune system.
  5. High Blood Pressure can arise from sleep deprivation. Melatonin at night can help with this.
  6. Dr. Rind suggested to a friend with HBP: a) L-Taurine is best, b) Magnesium, c) Hawthorne Berry Tinchture, d) CoQ10 but over 100 mgs for effectiveness.
    One client who is on Blood Pressure medicine from her doctor observed a dramatic reduction with L-Taurine. Amino Acids should not be taken with other proteins – take 30 minutes before or 90 minutes after eating protein foods. Hawthorne Berry and the Tincture rebuilds the heart (congestive heart failure).
    This information was presented recently at the American College of Cardiology’s 56th Annual Scientific Session. Rind is an alterative MD in the Washington DC area.
  7. Hibiscus Flower lowers blood pressure. This is often taken as a tea.
  8. Garlic lowers blood pressure some. I personally take Allicin 4000 Garlic from Vitamin Shoppe. Wild European Garlic is often used in some Blood Pressure supplements.
  9. Wild Apocynum is an herb often found in Blood Pressure teas and supplements.
  10. There is one unusual theory— “the negative impact of stress-related neurotransmitters on the gut microflora.” Stress causes an increase in bad bacteria in the body, leaving the individual vulnerable to infections, especially from E. Coli. At this point, I recommend Garden of Life’s Primal Defense ULTRA (not the regular Primal Defense).

I take 2 in the morning with FOS and 2 at night. While it does not recommend brands, I enjoyed the book, THE PROBIOTIC REVOLUTION. These books can be purchased with a big discount and no postage at

This is a good place to visit for nutritional consultations with a doctor.


There are many nutrients that have been found to support healthy blood pressure levels. Pathway BLOOD PRESSURE SUPPORT combines many of these important herbs, vitamins, and minerals into one great formula. Herbs such as coleus forskohlii and hawthorn are included in this formula for their ability to support healthy circulation. Magnesium and hops are added to aid in the relaxation of the central nervous system. In addition, Taurine supports the central nervous system and is thought to be helpful in dealing with anxiety. Pathway BLOOD PRESSURE SUPPORT use the trademark ingredient Forslean® which is the only coleus forskohlii supported by a US patent.

Recommended – Pathway Blood Pressure Support

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Acupuncture may lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure), a new study suggests.

Researchers from Germany investigated whether traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture is able to lower blood pressure.

In the study, 160 outpatients (78 men, 102 women) between 50 and 66 years of age (average age 58) with uncomplicated arterial hypertension were randomized in a single-blind fashion to a six-week course of active acupuncture or sham acupuncture. The patients participated in 22 sessions total that each lasted 30 minutes.

Researchers noted that 78 percent were receiving blood pressure-lowering medication, which remained unchanged. One hundred forty patients finished the treatment course (72 with active treatment, 68 with sham treatment).

The study found that there was a significant difference in post-treatment blood pressures adjusted for baseline values between the active and sham acupuncture groups at the end of treatment. In the active acupuncture group, average 24-hour ambulatory systolic and diastolic blood pressures decreased significantly after treatment. At three and six months, mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures returned to pretreatment levels in the active treatment group.

The study authors concluded that acupuncture according to traditional Chinese medicine, but not sham acupuncture, after six weeks of treatment significantly lowered mean 24-hour ambulatory blood pressures; the effect disappeared after cessation of acupuncture treatment.

The practice of acupuncture originated in China 5,000 years ago. Today, acupuncture is widely used throughout the world and is one of the main pillars of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture has become integrated with Western medicine as well, and it is often referred to as medical acupuncture in that context.
There is reasonable scientific evidence supporting acupuncture for several indications, including peri-operative dental pain, and several types of nausea and vomiting.

Chinese healers believe there are approximately 360 specific points along 14 different lines, or meridians, that course throughout the body. After making a differential diagnosis based on signs and symptoms and other observable phenomena in situ, acupuncturists choose combinations of acu-points and needle techniques that are thought to restore normal function of the meridians. The body is thereby enabled to relieve what is congested and supply what is deficient, thus achieving a balance between yin and yang.

Other integrative therapies with strong or good scientific evidence in the treatment of high blood pressure include omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil, alpha-linolenic acid, calcium, Coenzyme Q10, hibiscus, Qi gong, stevia and yoga.

For more information on the therapies mentioned in this story, please visit Natural Standard’s Herbs & Supplements and Health & Wellness databases.

NOTE from Lynn: I have a friend who works in the trades— not a traditional “New Age” person. His friends started going to an excellent acupuncturist in Columbia, Maryland, for stress, arthritis and for improving their golf game.

Supplement Your Diet:

You can also complement lifestyle changes with dietary supplements. Try supplements for at least a few months to gauge their effectiveness. The following is a list of commonly used supplements:

  • Calcium: A relationship exists between calcium and your blood pressure. Studies have shown that calcium reduces blood pressure levels. Calcium is important to the body because it plays a pivotal role in muscle contractions, including heart muscle contractions.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is involved in over 300 different biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is required to assimilate calcium into the body and regulates the entrance and utilization of calcium in the cells.
  • Potassium: Studies indicate that potassium may reduce blood pressure.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant believed to lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. Vitamin E also protects blood vessels from damage.
  • Coenzyme Q10: Coenzyme Q10 is believed to help regulate blood pressure by improving the function of the blood vessel walls.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Recent studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may significantly lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels.

Natural Treatments for High Blood Pressure— Taken from Medical Posts

Lifestyle changes and natural remedies may help to control high blood pressure, but your doctor may also recommend medication to lower high blood pressure. It is important to work with your doctor, because untreated high blood pressure may damage organs in the body and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, brain hemorrhage, kidney disease, and vision loss. See a drawing of a hypertensive heart.

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
    There is some evidence that the supplement CoQ10 may help to reduce high blood pressure.

A 12 week double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 83 people with systolic hypertension examined the effect of CoQ10 supplements (60 mg twice daily). After the 12 weeks, there was a mean reduction in systolic blood pressure of 17.8 mm Hg in the Coq10-treated group.

Another study conducted at the University of Western Australia looked at the effect of CoQ10 on blood pressure and glycemic control in 74 people with type 2 diabetes. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 100mg CoQ10 twice daily, 200mg of the drug fenfibrate, both, or neither for 12 weeks.

CoQ10 significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure(mean reduction 6.1 mm Hg and 2.9 mm Hg respectively). There was also a reduction in HbA1C, a marker for long-term glycemic control.

More: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Fact Sheet

  • Garlic
    In a meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials of garlic supplements, three trials showed a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and four in diastolic blood pressure. Researchers concluded that garlic powder supplement may be of clinical use in patients with mild hypertension.

Garlic supplement should only be used under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Garlic can thin the blood (reduce the ability of blood to clot) similar to aspirin. Garlic may interact with many drugs and supplements such as the prescription “blood-thinners” drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) or Trental (pentoxifylline), aspirin, vitamin E, gingko. It is usually recommended that people taking garlic stop in the weeks before and after any type of surgery.

  • Hawthorn
    The herb hawthorn is often used by traditional herbal practitioners for high blood pressure.

In a randomized controlled trial conducted by researchers in Reading, UK, 79 patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive either 1200 mg of hawthorn extract a day or placebo for 16 weeks. Medication for high blood pressure was used by 71% of the patients.

At the end of the 16 weeks, patients taking the hawthorn supplement had a significant reduction in mean diastolic blood pressure (2.6 mm Hg). No herb-drug interactions were reported.

  • Fish oil
    Preliminary studies suggest that fish oil may have a modest effect on high blood pressure. Although fish oil supplements often contain both DHA (docohexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoice acid), there is some evidence that DHA is the ingredient that lowers high blood pressure.
  • Folic acid
    Folate is a B vitamin necessary for formation of red blood cells. It may help to lower high blood pressure in some people, possibly by reducing elevated homocysteine levels.

One small study of 24 cigarette smokers found that four weeks of folic acid supplementation significantly lowered blood pressure.


Supplements are intended to provide nutritional support. Because a supplement or a recommended dose may not be appropriate for all persons, a physician (i.e., a licensed naturopathic physician or holistic MD or DO) should be consulted before using any product. Recommended doses follow:

  • Calcium—Take 800-1500 mg daily.
  • Vitamin C—Take 1000 mg daily.
  • Coenzyme Q10—Take 50 mg two times daily.
  • Flaxseed meal—Grind 2–4 tablespoons daily. Flaxseed meal is a better choice due to its fiber, lignan, and vitamin content, but flaxseed oil (1 tbsp daily) can be substituted.

APRIL 2009 NOTE: Drinking hibiscus tea can significantly reduce blood pressure among people with elevated risks of cardiovascular or kidney disease, according to a new study presented at the annual conference of the American Heart Association. There was a 7% to 13% reduction.

OCTOBER 2009 NOTE: Amazing Blood Pressure Breakthrough with Nattokinase

What Is Nattokinase?

Nattokinase is a potent fibrinolytic enzyme extracted and highly purified from a traditional Japanese food called Natto. Natto is a fermented cheese-like food that has been used in Japan for over 1000 years for its popular taste and as a folk remedy for heart and vascular diseases. Natto is produced by a fermentation process by adding Bacillus natto, a beneficial bacteria, to boiled soybeans. The resulting nattokinase enzyme, is produced when Bacillus natto acts on the soybeans. While other soy foods contain enzymes, it is only the natto preparation that contains the specific nattokinase enzyme.

The Discovery of Nattokinase

Doctor Hiroyuki Sumi had long researched thrombolytic enzymes searching for a natural agent that could successfully dissolve thrombus associated with cardiac and cerebral infarction (blood clots associated with heart attacks and stroke). Sumi discovered nattokinase in 1980 while working as a researcher and majoring in physiological chemistry at Chicago University Medical School. After testing over 173 natural foods as potential thrombolytic agents, Sumi found what he was looking for when Natto was dropped onto artificial thrombus (fibrin) in a Petri dish and allowed it to stand at 37 C (approximately body temperature). The thrombus around the natto dissolved gradually and had completely dissolved within 18 hours. Sumi named the newly discovered enzyme “nattokinase”, which means “enzyme in natto”. Sumi commented that nattokinase showed “a potency matched by no other enzyme.” 1,7

Potent Thrombolytic Activity

The human body produces several types of enzymes for making thrombus, but only one main enzyme for breaking it down and dissolving it – plasmin. The properties of nattokinase closely resemble plasmin. According to Dr. Martin Milner, from the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, what makes nattokinase a particularly potent treatment, is that it enhances the body’s natural ability to fight blood clots in several different ways; Because it so closely resembles plasmin, it dissolves fibrin directly. In addition, it also enhances the body’s production of both plasmin and other clot-dissolving agents, including urokinase (endogenous). “In some ways, Milner says, nattokinase is actually superior to conventional clot-dissolving drugs. T-PAs (tissue plasminogen activators) like urokinase (the drug), are only effective when taken intravenously and often fail simply because a stroke or heart attack victim’s arteries have hardened beyond the point where they can be treated by any other clot-dissolving agent. Nattokinase, however, can help prevent that hardening with an oral dose of as little as 100 mg a day.” 1,7

The Prolonged Action of Nattokinase

Nattokinase produces a prolonged action (unlike antithrombin drugs that wear off shortly after IV treatment is discontinued) in two ways: it prevents coagulation of blood and it dissolves existing thrombus. Both the efficacy and the prolonged action of NK can be determined by measuring levels of EFA (euglobulin fibrinolytic activity) and FDP (fibrin degradation products), which both become elevated as fibrin is being dissolved. By measuring EFA & FDP levels, activity of NK has been determined to last from 8 to 12 hours. An additional parameter for confirming the action of NK following oral administration is a rise in blood levels of TPA antigen (tissue plasminogen activator), which indicates a release of TPA from the endothelial cells and/or the liver.6,7

The Mechanism Behind Thrombus

Blood clots (or thrombi) form when strands of protein called fibrin accumulate in a blood vessel. In the heart, blood clots cause blockage of blood flow to muscle tissue. If blood flow is blocked, the oxygen supply to that tissue is cut off and it eventually dies. This can result in angina and heart attacks. Clots in chambers of the heart can mobilize to the brain. In the brain, blood clots also block blood and oxygen from reaching necessary areas, which can result in senility and/or stroke.1

Thrombolytic enzymes are normally generated in the endothelial cells of the blood vessels. As the body ages, production of these enzymes begins to decline, making blood more prone to coagulation. This mechanism can lead to cardiac or cerebral infarction, as well as other conditions. Since endothelial cells exist throughout the body, such as in the arteries, veins and lymphatic system, poor production of thrombolytic enzymes can lead to the development of thrombotic conditions virtually anywhere in the body.7

It has recently been revealed that thrombotic clogging of the cerebral blood vessels may be a cause of dementia. It has been estimated that sixty percent of senile dementia patients in Japan is caused by thrombus. Thrombotic diseases typically include cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, cardiac infarction and angina pectoris, and also include diseases caused by blood vessels with lowered flexibility, including senile dementia and diabetes (caused by pancreatic dysfunction). Hemorrhoids are considered a local thrombotic condition. If chronic diseases of the capillaries are also considered, then the number of thrombus related conditions may be much higher. Cardiac infarction patients may have an inherent imbalance in that their thrombolytic enzymes are weaker than their coagulant enzymes. Nattokinase holds great promise to support patients with such inherent weaknesses in a convenient and consistent manner, without side effects.1,6,7

Nattokinase is capable of directly and potently decomposing fibrin as well as activating pro-urokinase (endogenous).

Research In The United States

Dr. Martin Milner of the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and Dr. Kouhei Makise of the Imadeqawa Makise Clinica in Kyoto, Japan were able to launch a joint research project on nattokinase and write an extensive paper on their findings. “In all my years of research as a professor of cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine, natto and nattokinase represents the most exciting new development in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular related diseases,” Dr. Milner said. “We have finally found a potent natural agent that can thin and dissolve clots effectively, with relative safety and without side effects.” 1

Animal & Human Studies

Nattokinase has been the subject of 17 studies, including two small human trials.

Dr. Sumi and his colleagues induced blood clots in male dogs, then orally administered either four capsules of nattokinase (250 mg per capsule) or four placebo capsules to each dog. Angiograms (X-rays of blood vessels) revealed that the dogs who received nattokinase regained normal blood circulation (free of the clot) within five hours of treatment. Blood clots in the dogs who received only placebo showed no sign of dissolving in the 18 hours following treatment.1,3

Researchers from Biotechnology Research Laboratories and JCR Pharmaceuticals Co. of Kobe, Japan, tested nattokinase’s ability to dissolve a thrombus in the carotid arteries of rats. Animals treated with nattokinase regained 62 percent of blood flow, whereas those treated with plasmin regained just 15.8 percent of blood flow.1

Researchers from JCR Pharmaceuticals, Oklahoma State University, and Miyazaki Medical College tested nattokinase on 12 healthy Japanese volunteers (6 men and 6 women, between the ages of 21 and 55). They gave the volunteers 200 grams of natto (the food) before breakfast, then tracked fibrinolytic activity through a series of blood plasma tests. The tests indicated that the natto generated a heightened ability to dissolve blood clots: On average, the volunteers’ ELT (a measure of how long it takes to dissolve a blood clot) dropped by 48 percent within two hours of treatment, and volunteers retained an enhanced ability to dissolve blood clots for 2 to 8 hours. As a control, researchers later fed the same amount of boiled soybeans to the same volunteers and tracked their fibrinolytic activity. The tests showed no significant change.1,3,6

The Benefits of Nattokinase on Blood Pressure

Traditionaly in Japan, Natto has been consumed not only for cardiovascular support, but also to lower blood pressure. In recent years, this traditional belief has been confirmed by several clinical trials. In 1995, researchers from Miyazaki Medical College and Kurashiki University of Science and Arts in Japan studied the effects of nattokinase on blood pressure in both animal and human subjects (see below). In addition, the researchers confirmed the presence of inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which converts angiotensin I to its active form angiotensin II within the test extract, which consisted of 80% ethanol extract of lyophilized viscous materials of natto. ACE causes blood vessels to narrow and blood pressure to rise – by inhibiting ACE, nattokinase has a lowering effect on blood pressure.1,2

Animal Study

After a single intraperitoneal administration of 400-450 grams of the test extract (equivalent to 25 mg of natto food) into male Wister rats, systolic blood pressure (SBP) significantly decreased from 166 + mmHg to 145 + 24 mmHg in just two hours (p<0.05), and decreased further to 144 + 27 mmHg in 3 hours (p<0.05). On average, this data represents a 12.7 percent drop in SBP within two hours.1,2

Human Study

The same natto extract was then tested on human volunteers with high blood pressure. Blood pressure levels were measured after 30 grams of lyophilized extract (equivalent to 200 grams of natto food) was administered orally for 4 consecutive days. In 4 out of 5 volunteers, the systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased on average from 173.8 + 20.5 mmHg to 154.8 + 12.6 mmHg. Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreased on average from 101.0 + 11.4 mmHg to 91.2 + 6.6 mmHg. On average, this data represents a 10.9 percent drop in SBP and a 9.7 percent drop in DBP.1,2,6


The traditional Japanese food Natto has been used safely for over 1000 years. The potent fibrinolytic enzyme nattokinase appears to be safe based upon the long-term traditional use of this food. Nattokinase has many benefits including convenience of oral administration, confirmed efficacy, prolonged effects, cost effectiveness, and can be used preventatively. It is a naturally occurring, food based dietary supplement that has demonstrated stability in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as to changes in pH and temperature.


Glossary of Terms:

Cardiac Infarction: Heart attack.
Cerebral Infarction: Stroke.
Fibrin: A whitish, filamentous protein formed by the action of thrombin on fibrinogen and makes up part of coagulum or blood clots.
Fibrinolytic: Pertaining to or causing the breaking up of blood clots.
Infarction: Cardiac or cerebral tissue death due to failure of blood supply to the area usually caused by a blood clot.
Plasmin: An endogenously produced fibrinolytic enzyme.
Plasminogen: A precursor to plasmin. A protein found in many tissues and body fluids.
Thrombus: A blood clot that obstructs a blood vessel or a cavity of the heart.
Thrombolytic: Pertaining to or causing the breaking up of a thrombus.
TPA: Tissue plasminogen activator.
t-PAs: The most commonly used thrombolytic drugs including activase, urokinase, and streptokinase.
Urokinase: An endogenously produced thrombolytic enzyme & also a commonly used thrombolytic drug given intravenously to cardiac and cerbral infarction patients



1. Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke with Potent Enzyme that Dissolves Deadly Blood Clots in Hours. Health Sciences Institute, March 2002.
2. Maruyama M, Sumi H. Effect of Natto Diet on Blood Pressure. JTTAS, 1995.
3. Sumi H, Hamada H, Nakanishi K, Hiratani H. Enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in plasma by oral administration of nattokinase. Acta Haematol 1990;84(3):139-43.
4. Sumi H, Hamada H, Mihara H. A novel strong fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese “natto.” International 5. Journal of Fibronolysis and Thrombolysis. Abstracts of the ninth international congress on fibrinolysis, Amsterdam, 1988, Vol.2, Sup.1:67.
5. Sumi H, Hamada H, Tsushima H, Mihara H, Muraki H. A novel fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese Natto; a typical and popular soybean food in the Japanese diet. Experientia 1987, Oct 15;43(10):1110-1.
6. Sumi H. Healthy Microbe “Bacillus natto”. Japan Bio Science Laboratory Co. Ltd.
7. Sumi H. Interview With Doctor of Medicine Hiroyuki Sumi. Japan Bio Science Laboratory Co. Ltd.
8. Sumi H. Structure and Fibronolytic Properties of Nattokinase.

Selected Abstracts:

Potent fibrinolytic enzyme from a mutant of Bacillus subtilis IMR-NK1.

Chang CT, Fan MH, Kuo FC, Sung HY.
J Agric Food Chem 2000 Aug;48(8):3210-6
Department of Food and Nutrition, Providence University, Shalu, Taiwan, Republic of China.

A mutant of Bacillus subtilis IMR-NK1, which is used for the production of domestic “natto” in Taiwan, produced high fibrinolytic enzyme activity by solid-state fermentation using wheat bran as medium.

Purification and characterization of a fibrinolytic enzyme produced from Bacillus sp. strain CK 11-4 screened from Chungkook-Jang.

Kim W, Choi K, Kim Y, Park H, Choi J, Lee Y, Oh H, Kwon I, Lee S.
Appl Environ Microbiol 1996 Jul;62(7):2482-8
Department of Biotechnology, Institute of R & D, Yangpyung-Dong, Youngdeungpo-Gu, Seoul, (South) Korea.

Bacillus sp. strain CK 11-4, which produces a strongly fibrinolytic enzyme, was screened from Chungkook-Jang, a traditional Korean fermented-soybean sauce. The fibrinolytic enzyme (CK) was purified from supernatant of Bacillus sp. strain CK 11-4 culture broth and showed thermophilic, hydrophilic, and strong fibrinolytic activity.

Thrombolytic effect of nattokinase on a chemically induced thrombosis model in rat.

Fujita M, Hong K, Ito Y, Fujii R, Kariya K, Nishimuro S.
Biol Pharm Bull 1995 Oct;18(10):1387-91
Biotechnology Research Laboratories, JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., Kobe, Japan.

Nattokinase is a new fibrinolytic enzyme which cleaves directly cross-linked fibrin in vitro. In this study, we investigated the thrombolytic effect of nattokinase on a thrombus in the common carotid artery of rat in which the endothelial cells of the vessel wall were injured by acetic acid. When a section of occluded vessel was stained for CD61 antigen by immunofluorescence utilizing a monoclonal antibody, the antigen was localized around the surface of the occluded blood vessels. This result suggests that the occlusive thrombosis was caused by platelet aggregation. In addition, thrombolysis with urokinase (UK; 50000 IU/kg, i.v.) or tissue plasminogen activator (tPA; 13300 IU/kg, i.v.) in our model was observed to restore the blood flow over a 60 min monitoring period. The results indicate that our chemically induced model is useful for screening and evaluating a thrombolytic agent. We evaluated the thrombolytic activity of nattokinase using this model and compared it with fibrino(geno)lytic enzyme, plasmin or elastase. On a molar basis, the recovery of the arterial blood flow with nattokinase, plasmin and elastase were 62.0 +/- 5.3%, 15.8 +/- 0.7% and 0%, respectively. The results indicate that the thrombolytic activity of nattokinase is stronger than that of plasmin or elastase in vivo.

Transport of nattokinase across the rat intestinal tract.

Fujita M, Hong K, Ito Y, Misawa S, Takeuchi N, Kariya K, Nishimuro S.
Biol Pharm Bull 1995 Sep;18(9):1194-6
Biotechnology Research Laboratories, JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., Kobe, Japan.

Intraduodenal administration of nattokinase (NK) at a dose of 80 mg/kg, resulted in the degradation of fibrinogen in plasma suggesting transport of NK across the intestinal tract in normal rats. The action of NK on the cleavage of fibrinogen in the plasma from blood samples drawn at intervals after intraduodenal administration of the enzyme was investigated by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDSPAGE) and Western blotting analysis with an anti-fibrinogen gamma chain antibody. In parallel with the degradation process, plasma recalcification times were remarkably prolonged NK was also detected in the plasma from blood samples drawn 3 and 5 h after administration of the enzyme by SDSPAGE and Western blotting analysis with an anti-NK antibody. The results indicate that NK is absorbed from the rat intestinal tract and that NK cleaves fibrinogen in plasma after intraduodenal administration of the enzyme.

Purification and characterization of a strong fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese natto, a popular soybean fermented food in Japan.

Fujita M, Nomura K, Hong K, Ito Y, Asada A, Nishimuro S.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1993 Dec 30;197(3):1340-7
Biotechnology Research Laboratories, JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., Kobe, Japan.

A strong fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) was purified from the vegetable cheese natto. Nattokinase was extracted from natto with saline and isolated by sequential use of hydrophobic chromatography. The isolated protein gave a single sharp band on SDSPAGE either before or after reduction. The sequence, as determined by automated Edman degradation of the uncleaved molecule and its enzymatically derived peptide, consisted of a total 275 amino acid residues (M.W = 27,728) and exhibited a high homology with the subtilisins.

Enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in plasma by oral administration of nattokinase.

Sumi H, Hamada H, Nakanishi K, Hiratani H.
Acta Haematol 1990;84(3):139-43
Department of Physiology, Miyazaki Medical College, Japan.

The existence of a potent fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase, NK) in the traditional fermented food called ‘natto’, was reported by us previously. It was confirmed that oral administration of NK (or natto) produced a mild and frequent enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in the plasma, as indicated by the fibrinolytic parameters, and the production of tissue plasminogen activator. NK capsules were also administered orally to dogs with experimentally induced thrombosis, and lysis of the thrombi was observed by angiography. The results obtained suggest that NK represents a possible compound for use not only in the treatment of embolism but also in the prevention of the disease, since NK has a proven safety and can be mass produced.

A novel fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese Natto; a typical and popular soybean food in the Japanese diet.

Sumi H, Hamada H, Tsushima H, Mihara H, Muraki H.
Experientia 1987 Oct 15;43(10):1110-1
Department of Physiology, Miyazaki Medical College, Japan.

A strong fibrinolytic activity was demonstrated in the vegetable cheese Natto, which is a typical soybean food eaten in Japan. The average activity was calculated at about 40 CU (plasmin units)/g wet weight. This novel fibrinolytic enzyme, named nattokinase, was easily extracted with saline. Nattokinase not only digested fibrin but also the plasmin substrate H-D-Val-Leu-Lys-pNA (S-2251).


  • Magnesium—Promotes arterial elasticity for proper blood flow and aids in sodium excretion to help your body maintain the proper water balance.
  • Hawthorn—Relaxes vascular muscle tissue, dilating your coronary blood vessels to increase blood flow to your heart. Also promotes strong, plaque-free arterial walls.
  • Garlic—Helps improve circulation by “thinning” your blood for better flow. Garlic also aids in maintaining arterial elasticity by stimulating your body’s production of nitric oxide, a natural muscle relaxant.
  • Grape Seed Extract—Protects against free-radical oxidation to help maintain the health of your arteries. Contains OPCs, strong antioxidants that bind to arterial collagen to stabilize and strengthen your blood vessels.
  • Coleus—Promotes stronger heart muscle contraction and the relaxation of your blood vessels, for healthy blood pressure levels.
  • Chromium—Mediates your insulin metabolism to help maintain normal blood glucose levels. Chromium is also vital for the metabolism of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates.

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