Nattokinase decreases plasma levels of fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII in human subjects.
Nutr Res. 2009 Mar;29(3):190-6. PMID: 19358933
Nattokinase, a serine proteinase from Bacillus subtilis, is considered to be one of the most active functional ingredients found in natto. In this study, we hypothesized that nattokinase could reduce certain factors of blood clotting and lipids that are associated with an increase risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Thus, an open-label, self-controlled clinical trial was conducted on subjects of the following groups: healthy volunteers (Healthy Group), patients with cardiovascular risk factors (Cardiovascular Group), and patients undergoing dialysis (Dialysis Group). All subjects ingested 2 capsules of nattokinase (2000 fibrinolysis units per capsule) daily orally for 2 months. The laboratory measurements were performed on the screening visit and, subsequently, regularly after the initiation of the study. The intent-to-treat analysis was performed on all 45 enrolled subjects. By use of mixed model analysis, a significant time effect, but not group effect, was observed in the change from baseline of fibrinogen (P = .003), factor VII (P < .001), and factor VIII (P < .001), suggesting that the plasma levels of the 3 coagulation factors continuously declined during intake; also, the extents of decrease were similar between groups. After 2 months of administration, fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII decreased 9%, 14%, and 17%, respectively, for the Healthy Group; 7%, 13%, and 19%, respectively, for the Cardiovascular Group; and 10%, 7%, and 19%, respectively, for the Dialysis Group, whereas blood lipids were unaffected by nattokinase. No significant changes of uric acid or notable adverse events were observed in any of the subjects. In summary, this study showed that oral administration of nattokinase could be considered as a CVD nutraceutical by decreasing plasma levels of fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII.