If you suspect you are having a heart attack or stroke, one of the first courses of action your 911 operator may suggest is for you to take an aspirin. They suggest aspirin because, during heart attack or stroke, a blockage in one or more of your arteries is preventing blood from getting to or from your heart. Aspirin slows down the ability of your blood cells to stick together—which makes them thinner (since they can’t stick together and coagulate) and allows more of them to pass through the obstruction that were able to before you took the aspirin. This allows you to reduce the effects of the heart attack or stroke because you are increasing the amount of blood that can flow to and from your heart or brain.

After the heart attack or stroke, your doctor will prescribe a medication that you take on a daily basis that will continue to keep your blood thin. These medications will make your minor cuts bleed more as you lose the ability to clot, but they will keep blood flowing to your organs and throughout your body even if you have another clot and may mean the difference between life and death for heart attack and stroke survivors.

Nattokinase is an all natural supplement that is purported to have the same blood thinning capabilities as aspirin and prescription blood thinners, but in a natural rather than chemical form. Nattokinase is a Japanese discovery. It comes from an isolated enzyme found in a type of soybean food called vegetable cheese (Natto). Enzymes are considered proteins and they help to break down foods that are eaten so that the compounds become simpler and the body can reap the nutrient benefit and break them down for calories. The enzyme in Nattokinase brakes down a protein called Fibrin, which is responsible for the coagulation of blood.

Fibrin is also a protein and it is very effective in keeping people from bleeding to death after a minor cut. It is a fibrous protein that is insoluble and it forms a sort of blood cell catching mesh that slows blood flow down. While this is a necessary action, for those with a history of heart attack or stroke it can be dangerous because it adds one more potential roadblock through which blood must travel.

Nattokinase has gained popularity recently because, as a non chemical substitute for prescription blood thinners, it is said to be more natural, safer, and gentler on the system. Human and animal trials with Nattokinase have been positive, but not enough data has been found to determine what possible side effects could be experienced while taking Nattokinase.

If you are on a prescription blood thinner and you wish to try something more natural to keep your blood flowing, be sure to talk to your doctor about the possibility of substituting Nattokinase for your traditional blood thinner. After reviewing the animal and human trials and learning more about the supplement, your doctor may decide to put you on Nattokinase while you are on the other blood thinner, or, he or she may decide to take you off your traditional blood thinner and have you on Nattokinase exclusively.

It is important that you visit with your doctor before making any decisions regarding the substitution of your prescribed medications. It is not safe or smart to try to be your own doctor and make an uninformed decision to stop taking your prescription blood thinner and start taking Nattokinase. Your health is a very delicate commodity and one that you should take seriously. Consult with your doctor before adding Nattokinase to your daily routine.

Last updated on Nov 18th, 2009 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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