The nattokinase scam

A conversation about vitamin K2 commonly leads to confusion. Several people have asked about something called nattokinase.

The scientific data on the potential role of vitamin K2 deficiency in causing both osteoporosis and vascular calcification is fascinating. Along with vitamin D3, vitamin K2 may be an important factor in regulation of calcium metabolism. Supplementation may prove to be a major strategy for inhibition of vascular calcification.

Obtaining K2 in the diet is tricky, since it’s present in just a handful of foods: egg yolks, liver, traditional cheeses, and natto. This is where the confusion starts.

Natto is a Japanese fermented soy product. I’ve had it and it’s quite disgusting. Nonetheless, Japanese who eat natto experience less fracture. (A parallel study in heart disease has not been performed.) Natto is also a source of another substance called nattokinase.

Advocates (otherwise often known as supplement distributors) claim that nattokinase is a “fibrinolytic”, or blood clot-dissolving, preparation that “improves blood flow, protects from blood clots, and prevents heart attacks and strokes.”

Don’t you believe it. This is patent nonsense. There are several problems with this rationale:

–Any oral fibrinolytic agent is promptly degraded in the highly acid environment of the stomach. That’s why all medically used fibrinolytics are given intravenously. Drug companies have struggled for years to encapsulate, modify, or somehow protect protein (or polypeptide) products taken orally from degrading this way. They’ve never succeeded. That’s why, for instance, growth hormone (a polypeptide) remains an injection, not an oral agent. An oral growth hormone, by the way, would sell like mad, so the drug companies would very much like to figure out how to bypass the degradative effects of stomach acid. One of the “researchers” behind the nattokinase claims boasts that he has single-handedly figured out how to protect the nattokinase molecule in the gastrointestinal tract. However, he won’t tell anybody how he does it. Right.

–Fibrinolytic agents are extremely dangerous. In years past, we used to treat heart attacks with intravenous fibrinolytic agents like tissue plasminogen activator, urokinase, streptokinase, and others. They have fallen by the wayside, for the most part, because of limited effectiveness and the unavoidable dangers of their use. Fibrinolytics are “dumb”: they dissolve blood clots in both good places and bad. While they might dissolve the blood clot causing your heart attack, they also degrade the tiny clot in your cerebral (brain) circulation that was protective. That’s why fatal brain hemorrhages, bleeding stomach ulcers, and blood oozing from strange places can also occur with fibrinolytic administration. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen, and I’ve watched people die from them.

The idea that a small dose taken orally is healthy is ridiculous. Even if nattokinase worked, why the heck would you take an agent that has known dangerous and very real consequences?

Don’t let this idiocy reflect poorly on the K2 conversation, which, I believe, holds real merit and is backed by legitimate science. This is symptomatic of a larger difficulty with the supplement industry: Insane and unfounded claims about one supplement erodes credibility for the entire industry. It gives regulation-crazed people like the FDA ammunition to go after supplements, something none of us need. You and I have to sift through the nonsense to uncover the real gems in this rockpile, real gems like vitamin D3, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, and, perhaps, vitamin K2. But not nattokinase.

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178 Responses to The nattokinase scam

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dr. William Davis is either a narrow minded "know-it-all" or he (like many others in his profession) is having his pocket filled with blood money via Big Pharma.

    I have documented my success story in my several part post and wanted to return to this forum to encourage others that there is hope beyond the rat poison known as Warfarin. Nattokinase not only prevented further blood clots, but much to my Doctor & his Doppler Tech’s surprise, it COMPLETELY removed the blood clot without even a trace or scar.

    So Dr. Big Pharma can continue showing it’s true colors and bad mouth Nattokinase, & doctors can use medical terms to describe why it’s not possible for this substance to work and those who were willing to risk using a natural alternative to help with blood clots (LIKE MYSELF) can continue 2 prove how ignorant and WRONG they are.

    I will try to check back from time to time and continue my blood clot free success story.

    Good luck to the true believers:)

  2. Anonymous says:

    My mother who has been chronically ill and misgidanosed for decades began taking nattokinase as well as bolouke, rottozyme (spelling)..and several other supplements in October 2010 under the care of a naturopath physician. The first in two decades she is showing improvement on multi-system levels! I find it UTTERLY RIDICULOUS that dr's prescribe dangerous immune suppresents such as Remicade, Enbryl, my mothers were $1200 per pop, 2 hour infusion into her elbow that caused permanent nerve damage, dr's ignoring warning signes that are bioligic and made from mouse and hamster cell protiens, caused lesions in her brain and spinal, and that she was given Celebrex for more than a decade that was black box warned in 2001 and multiple lawsuits for causing strokes. The proof is in the pudding for me. My mother's health is improving, she is now walking, talking, showing interest, absolutly no negative side effects.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And, Utterly ridiculous that most people are brainwashed to question natural, mother nature provided us with what we need…and brainwashed to totally trust taking man made synthetic chemicals and invasive surgeries as the only option, thinking them as superior & the only way. My mother was too frail to endure any more synthetic chemicals that nearly killed her. Wish I would have known about many of these alternatives 20 years ago. Another example, Artemisinin…been around for thousands of years, used to treat malaria and proven cancer cure for many types of cancer, even some strains resistant to chemo. You won't hear about Artemisinin (the holly grail cure) until the UW professor who currently has a patent and developing a "sythetic version" so Pharma companies can market it. . .puts it on the market. totally true, google it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And I bet there are many out there who don't believe that parasites, fungus, mold, acidic high fat diet, skeletal structural issues and toxins are the cause for most all disease – and MDs will rarely if ever investigate and treat. Nor believe that natural mineral seasalt – the oldest antibiotic known to mankind, oil of oregano – thousands of uses for disease and parasite cures, chlorella, very popular and hightly used in Japan…ionic therapy…personally, I have taken niacin 500 mg every morning for circulation, have since my 20's. I knew somthing was wrong and kept getting poo-pood by dr's…unknown to me, I had congenital lyme, like my mother. For me, kept my blood from turning to syrup & ionic therapy totally helped me to regain my life, health & focus. Everyone is different, exposure, threshold levels..we should all be able to make informed decisions and choices about our health. Medicare, like many insurance companies, do not pay for alternative medicine at this time…and times need to change. We are so behind the rest of the world.

  5. Anonymous says:

    July 8 you stated there are some truly great supplements but NOT nattokinase. Why did you not name those supplements? Afraid that nattokinase or other healthy supplement would reduce your and big pharmas income?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fibrovan – I am a 46 yr old from Caddo Mills Tx. For 2-3 yrs now I have had unbelievable heavy cycles and clots. A sonogram a year earlier revealed I had fibroids. My cycles were so bad, I had a hard time working. The sonogram at the hosp cost $500 w/insurance. I am a single mom receiving no support and can not afford surgery. I am VERY skeptical and not an easy sell. I decided to try Fibrovan in desperation. I took it faithfully and am amazed at the results!!!! I am having a normal cycle, my stomach feels 'deflated' and I didn't think I was bloated before. I decided to google this product again to see if there were bad side effects. I never believe these posts that are good and always think they must work for the company. I AM TELLING YOU so far 100% satisfied !!!!!! :)

  7. Mark UK says:

    Hi Im Mark 53 years old and live in the UK, I've been in AF since March 2010 I've been on warfarin since June 2010 and have had a good INR of appox 2.5 and Im tested every week.
    2 weeks ago I went for an AF ablation at Harefield Hospital UK after getting myself in the right frame of mind about having the 5 hour ablation operation I was woken after 1 hour to be told they could not see if my LAA (left artial appendage) was clear of clots using an ultrasound device so I was put in a CT scanner only to be told my LAA was full of THROMBUS, so my doctors now want my INR to be 3.00 and I now have to wait 4 to 6 weeks to have another CT scan and hope the Thrombus has gone so I can have the Ablation and pray in the mean time I dont have a stroke or pulmonary embolism. I am concidering that if after the 6 week CT scan the Thrombus is still there that maybe my body needs the help of some nattokinase and less Warfarin if there is a balance to be found I will buy a Blood Testing CoaguChek XS PLUS system kit to test myself daily for my INR of my normal 2.5 level, because I feel to do nothing after my 6 weeks CT scan is maybe waiting time I may not have, I will leave more comments as time goes on and let you read what happens in the weeks to come, Kind regards Mark

  8. ggaylmer says:

    I'm fed up reading opinions from "Anonymous". Are they all the same person? Why can't you give your name? At least Dr Davis is not afraid to give his name.

  9. John Doe says:

    ggaylmer – I don’t know about others but I am the “Anonymous” that posted my multi-part success story and the reason I did not use my name is because I do not trust the power and corruption of Big Pharmaceutical companies. You may find it hard to believe, but I feel there is no difference between a multi-billion dollar company protecting it’s interests and organized crime syndicates of old.

    I am still 100% clot free and now only use Nattokinase one week a month to make sure I stay that way. Good Health to all:)

  10. Rick Parker says:

    I used nattokinase to dissolve some blood clots that I had. It cleared them up with no observed side effects, except that I bruised very easily.

  11. John Francis says:

    Anyone out there have any experiance with using Cardiokinase?

  12. Cassondra says:

    I’m grateful for Nattokinase NSK-SD and Cardiokinase. I had a large DVT stemming from behind my knee to mid-calf in 2006 that went away after taking Nattokinase. I did a blood panel not long after I was diagnosed with the DVT, and was additionally diagnosed with MTHFR (two genes) and Factor 5 Leiden (one gene). My Dr. said I would be a “warfarin-for-lifer” but I was only 23 years old when he said that. I’m not sure I’d be in such good condition today, at 28 years old, if I was still taking warfarin daily. It only took me 4 months of being on warfarin before I decided to educate myself about alternatives. During the 4 months being on warfarin, I felt sick much of the time. After taking Nattokinase for a couple months, I went back to the Dr and I no longer had a DVT. Some might deem me a “guinea pig” to this supplement and I’m okay with that. Nattokinase has helped me stay clot free since 2006, even during my pregnancies. I trust Nattokinase over the prescription options, based on the information I’ve gathered on all counts. The pros outweigh the cons, and it boils down to what *I* feel comfortable taking based on what I know.

  13. Kay G says:

    Contrary to the negative belief that Nattokinase is only a scam, I must tell you that it SAVED MY life. I read hoards and hoards of complaints here in the forum that there is NO scientific evidence that if taken oraly that it will be effective. Well my proof is in MY own experience and that is as follows: for several months I experienced heaviness in my legs and it became very painful for me to even move out of my drivers seat after my 40 minute drive from work each day. Each time I pulled into my driveway I’d have to prepare myself for the pain I knew I was about to endure just moving from my car to my front door. Not exactly the way one wants to end their work day EVERY day. But that’s only the begining…soon I began experiencing an annoying numbness in my left leg when lying down and that same feeling in my left arm as well. I would elevate my legs and at times that would help but I knew I had to do something more internally to help. At the same time I began getting lesions on my legs and began to REALLY become afraid after reading the possible reasons for such on countless sites. I ran across a site speaking of Natto and its ability to naturally disolve blood clots. I had NO intention on taking Cumadin or Warifin after reading of its danger AND high costs. I reseached Natto and decided that to order such from Japan or even CA would NOT be too wise as I had NO interest in worrying about the radiation that has taken place recently. So I decided to take Nattokinase–its supplemental form. PLEASE BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU THAT IN ONE MONTH AND A HALF after taking it, I have had NOT even ONE of the problems described above. I’d like to add that I am only 40 which tells me that part of my problem with my circulation had to be genetic…along with my sometimes poor eating habits AND the fact that I STAND for all 8 hours of my work shift there at the PO. I stand by Nattokinase. It has help me immensely.

    • vicola65 says:

      Kay, I too have read every comment on this forum and vast majority of comments are pro NK SP, not against it. One person complained about the anonimous posts but, honestly, if he/she does not understand that sharing medical issues on the internet is not a big deal that individual needs to learn a bit more on that topic and that”s not what”s important here. I am a happy much healthier person having found these enzymes in early 2011. (When I posted I wrote about an ovarian cyst removal in 2011 though accidentally put 2010). The ONLY point where I would agree with Dr. Davis is that just because something is ”natural” that it is automatically safe. By the same token, however, just becuase something is natural it does not mean that a Big Pharma solution is more effective. Curare, for example, is both natural and lethal. Thankfully, these enzymes bought from reputable vendors (mine are from Doctors Best) are reasonably priced and work great. Everyone”s bodies are different, many folks suffer from poor absorbtion of nutrients because they”ve spent years eating processed foods, bodies riddled with candida and/or yeast. We need enzymes to digest properly. Everyone can benefit from these supplements in one way or another. To get the full clot fight we do have to make a bit of effort but I cannot imagine living without them now.

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