Volume 5, Issue 31 August 2, 2012
You don’t need Coumadin to stop
blood clots and poor circulation

Have you ever tried to drink a really thick milkshake through a skinny straw? It’s just about impossible to enjoy the shake this way. It’s so thick, it just doesn’t want to come through the straw. Well, your blood can get like this. And when it does, it can cause some serious health problems.

Your blood thickens when your red blood cells clump together. Too much clumping can make your blood too thick. It won’t circulate well. And your cells become deprived of the blood and oxygen they need. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem.

I examine the blood of many of my patients using a special microscope called a darkfield scope.  A darkfield scope sees details in the blood that standard microscopes can’t see. And one of the things I see in just about 90% of my patients is red blood-cell clumping and fibrin formation. The red blood cells sometimes clump so much that you have to wonder how they circulate at all. The fibrin comes from a tendency for the blood to clot. The cause of both of these problems is usually inflammation. Get rid of the inflammation, and the blood will restore to normal. But here’s the problem.

In many cases, it is not all that easy to eliminate inflammation from the body. Even when you can do it, it might take quite a few months of detoxification and cleansing. And most doctors don’t treat the inflammation, they just prescribe the blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin). But there’s a better, safer way. A naturally occurring enzyme called nattokinase can be very helpful. A study published a few years ago out of the University of Southern California School of Medicine shows just how effective nattokinase can be as a blood thinner.

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The researchers incubated blood samples with nattokinase in various concentrations for half an hour. All of these concentrations were similar to those they’ve seen in animals eating nattokinase. Then they measured how much clumping occurred in the red blood cells (RBC aggregation), and how thick the blood was. They discovered that nattokinase was able to significantly decrease red-blood-cell clumping. They also found that it caused the blood to become thinner and flow better. The results were directly dependent on how much nattokinase they used. The greater the amount they used, the less clumping they saw and the thinner the blood.

Nattokinase comes from a vegetable cheese-like fermented food called natto. This food has been extremely popular in Japan for over 1,000 years. Nattokinase is the enzyme extracted from natto. It is what researchers call a fibrinolytic enzyme. This means that it’s able to dissolve the fibrin that I see in my microscope so often. This is the same fibrin that when it’s excessive can cause the blood to become too thick and form dangerous blood clots.

So if you have any problem with clotting or with circulation in general, you should consider discussing taking nattokinase with your doctor. You can buy natto in many health food stores or Asian markets. But most Westerners don’t like the flavor. So I recommend you take a nattokinase supplement like Advanced Natto Formula. The usual dose is 100 mg. You can take this amount from one to three times per day. If you take Coumadin as a blood thinner, make sure that you get a natto supplement that does not contain vitamin K, such as Advanced Natto Formula. And talk to your doctor about weaning you off of the Coumadin.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Pais E, Alexy T, Holsworth RE Jr, Meiselman HJ. “Effects of nattokinase, a pro-fibrinolytic enzyme, on red blood cell aggregation and whole blood viscosity” Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2006;35(1-2):139-42.

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