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Nattokinase for Hypertension.

Eighty-six patients with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (systolic blood pressure of 130-159 mm Hg) were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, 1 capsule per day of nattokinase (2,000 fibrinolytic units per capsule) or placebo for eight weeks. Compared with placebo, nattokinase significantly decreased mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5.5 mm Hg (p < 0.05) and 2.84 mm Hg (p < 0.05), respectively.

Comment: Nattokinase is a fibrinolytic enzyme found in natto (fermented soybeans). The results of the present study indicate that nattokinase is an effective treatment for mild hypertension. While nattokinase treatment decreased plasma renin activity to some extent, it had no effect on angiotensin-converting enzyme activity. Therefore, the mechanism of action of nattokinase as an antihypertensive agent is not clear. Although it is a fibrinolytic enzyme, nattokinase does not appear to cause abnormal bleeding. It is not known, however, whether it is safe to administer nattokinase to people taking anticoagulant or platelet-inhibiting medications.

Kim JY et al. Effects of nattokinase on blood pressure: a randomized, controlled trial. Hypertens Res. 2008;31:1583-1588.

by Alan R. Gaby, MD
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Publication:Townsend Letter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2009
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