The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Nattokinase and blood clots

    Nattokinase is promoted as a safe anticlotting agent. An email I received this morning described it as perhaps “among the most powerful of all methods to improve your heart health.” The source of nattokinase is natto, a vegetable cheese-like food made from fermented soybeans.

    The story is similar to other “miracle” treatments from the orient ? except for the part about the horses. The Japanese have eaten natto for a thousand years. They have a lower prevalence of heart disease. And western drugs are poison.

    Oops, I almost forgot. “Ancient Samurai … fed it to their horses to increase their speed and strength.”

    Here’s what I found.

    • A laboratory study reports that it causes a decrease in red blood cell stickiness and lowers blood viscosity
    • Studies in dogs and rats show it dissolves blood clots
    • A study in 12 healthy volunteers support the findings in dogs
    • A PubMed search listed no clinical trials in humans

    Did I mention it has been used for a thousand years in Japan?

    There’s a related article in the June issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. I don’t have access to it, but it’s unlikely to be promotional. Other sources of online information are promotional, but they make interesting reading here, and here.

    8/17/06 18:07 JR

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