Aspirin’s preventive value is challenged
By Will Dunham REUTERS
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration yesterday questioned the value of taking aspirin to try to ward off a first heart attack or stroke in people who never have had cardiovascular problems.
The FDA’s statement follows its decision last week to turn down a request by German drug maker Bayer AG to change the labeling on packages in order to market aspirin’s value in preventing heart attacks in people who never have had cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Robert Temple, the agency’s deputy director for clinical science, said in an FDA “consumer update” that people should use daily aspirin therapy only after talking to a health-care professional who can assess the benefits and risks.
Such aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of the blood’s clotting cells, called platelets, and may prevent a heart attack, experts say. But experts also warn that there may be serious side effects from daily use of aspirin, including internal bleeding.
“Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack or stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin can help prevent a reoccurrence,” Temple said on the FDA website.
- But the agency added, “After carefully examining scientific data from major studies, FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’”
The FDA said that in these people, “The benefit has not been established but risks such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”
The American Heart Association recommends, “People at high risk of heart attack should take a daily low dose of aspirin if told to by their health-care provider, and that heart-attack survivors regularly take low-dose aspirin.”
Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a UCLA cardiologist and a representative of the association, said there is potential for confusion among the general public resulting from the FDA statement.
“I think it’s really important that before anybody initiates an aspirin regimen — and most critically before any individual considers discontinuing their aspirin regimen — that they speak specifically to their physician who knows their medical history,” he said.
It is gratifying to see some doctors taking a bigger, broader view of studies which have been done. Don’t know why this is coming to light only now, I have been predisposed to this thinking for perhaps forty years and rather thought it was common knowledge. . . . . speaking here of the awareness that aspirin can cause this silent bleeding and it can be unknown when it happens. Not a good thing.
Like many others, I too have been bullied into the taking of blood thinners — the rat poison kind, (Coumadin or Warfarin) and protested every prescription I filled for years. Never found a doctor who would listen to me with regard to Nattokinase. Nattokinase is a natural product made from fermented soy (not GMO), which is not only as good as any blood thinner — but far, far better. It was difficult for me to know the science behind it and not be able to avail it for myself. Eventually, I won out by just quitting the pharmaceutical on my own. It may break some PhRMA company’s heart, but it doesn’t break any laws.
While I have often spoken of Nattokinase and stressed that I DO take this product, perhaps I have erred in not going an extra mile in finding some evidence as to why I take it in the first place. Well, I’m doing that now; have two here which should reveal the soundness of choosing this over expensive rat poison, etc.,. I’ve selected the first one because it was Dr Sumi who first found it, isolated it and did the research, ultimately bringing it to market. . . which is when I heard about it around 10 years ago, from Ron Pelligrini of Vital Nutrients over in Chicago. Spoken of him before (my go-to-guy when I really need to know something) Ron knew that I had been taking blood thinners (unhappily) and he cautioned me not to just jump in and start taking Natto; had to stop that first and because the two products taken simultaneously could lead to inability to clot blood which is necessary under certain circumstances. Of course, it is best to be under the supervision of an integrative physician who is able to supervise this.
The 2nd one is from Dr Stephen Sinatra detailing how he uses this successfully in his ‘Metabolic Cardiology” . . . . . so here we go. . Jan)
A great food derivative for those have had heart attacks and strokes due to clotting
What Is Nattokinase?
Nattokinase is a potent clot dissolving substance (an enzyme) extracted from a traditional Japanese food called Natto. It is produced by a fermentation process after adding Bacillus natto, a friendly bacteria, to boiled soybeans. This produces 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. It contains nattokinase enzyme, a great clot buster that may be even superior to current drugs, such as Warfarin and Urokinase.
The Discovery of Nattokinase
Doctor Hiroyuki Sumi had long searched 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 for clot-dissolving potential, Sumi found what he was looking for when Natto was dropped onto artificial clot (thrombus) 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”.
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, which 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. Activity of NK has been determined to last from 8 to 12 hours.
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.
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.
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.
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. Heinous 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
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% of blood flow, whereas those treated with plasmin regained just 15.8 percent of blood flow.
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.
The Benefits of Nattokinase on Blood Pressure
Traditionally 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. 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.
- 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.
How to Improve Blood Circulation with Nattokinase
Nattokinase is an enzyme derived from natto, a traditional Japanese soybean dish that is made by boiling or steaming soybeans and then fermenting them. This process yields a dish that Westerners don’t find particularly appealing; however, taste aside, natto is probably one of the world’s healthiest foods and certainly deserves a place within any good cardiovascular nutrition program due to its ability to improve blood circulation in the body.
Nattokinase helps address one of the most overlooked problems in the development of coronary artery disease: Hyperviscosity, which refers to thick and sticky blood that moves slowly through the circulatory system. Hyperviscosity feeds the inflammatory process that damages arteries and sluggish blood flow also makes it difficult to prevent blood clots from forming.
Enter nattokinase. It reinforces the actions of plasmin, which is your body’s own enzyme that breaks down the body’s clotting agent called fibrin, thereby preventing abnormal thickening of the blood in order to improve blood circulation.
Because of its clot-busting and blood-thinning properties, nattokinase is used to treat coronary artery disease and prevent heart attack and stroke. I also recommend it to any of my patients with high blood pressure levels. I have seen it result in such significant improvements in blood pressure levels that patients are usually able to cut down, and sometimes even cut out, their blood pressure medication. Typical results are reductions of 10–20 systolic points and 5–10 diastolic points.
Recommended Dose of Nattokinase to Improve Blood Circulation: Start at 50 mg of nattokinase a day and increase the daily dosage to 100 mg after a week.
Caution: You should not combine nattokinase with Coumadin, a blood thinning drug, because it may result in you having too little fibrin to form any clots at all, putting you at risk for bleeding events.