The existence of a potent fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase, NK) in the traditional fermented food called 'natto', was reported by us previously. It was confirmed that oral administration of NK (or natto) produced a mild and frequent enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in the plasma, as indicated by the fibrinolytic parameters, and the production of tissue plasminogen activator. Nattokinase capsules were also administered orally to dogs with experimentally induced thrombosis, and lysis of the thrombi was observed by angiography.
The results obtained suggest that Nattokinase represents a possible drug for use not only in the treatment of embolism but also in the prevention of the disease, since NK has a proven safety and can be mass produced.
Sumi H, Hamada H, Nakanishi K, Hiratani H. Department of Physiology, Miyazaki Medical College, Japan. Enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in plasma by oral administration of nattokinase. Acta Haematol. 1990;84(3):139-43.