Pharmaceutical companies have developed a lot of ways to charge us a lot of money. Name a disease, and chances are some drug company has tried to come up with a pricey solution. (In some situations, they even create the disease to fit a drug they've developed.) But there's one condition they haven't yet been able to develop a drug to treat - thromboinflammatory disease.
Thromboinflammatory disease refers to painful blood clots that develop in the legs. These clots can break off and travel to the lungs where they are potentially lethal. Treating this condition requires a delicate approach, as it involves targeting a pro-inflammatory molecule called thrombin. An excess of thrombin leads to not just inflammation but an increased risk of blood clots. However, if thrombin levels get too low, the risk of uncontrolled bleeding increases. This, in turn, limits whether anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to treat other conditions.
As you might expect, pharmaceutical companies have been trying to find a drug that can strike a balance between these two extremes. Now researchers at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard have made a discovery that may solve the problem. Previously, scientists knew that an anti-coagulant protein called activated protein C (APC) could help inhibit thrombin and reduce inflammation. However, it also affects the blood's ability to clot, so it isn't an ideal solution.
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The researchers have been able to develop synthetic molecules called parmodulins that are similar to APC in their anti-inflammatory and thrombin-inhibiting properties but don't interfere with the coagulation process. So far, a small pre-clinical trial indicates that parmodulins can help protect endothelial cells from inflammation. The researchers found that if they exposed the endothelial cells first to parmodulin and then to pro-inflammatory molecules, the endothelial cells didn't experience an accumulation of platelet cells, as would happen in a typically inflammatory response, and were able to quickly resume normal functioning.
I can hear the drug companies chomping at the bit to begin incorporating parmodulins into new products to sell. But there's no need for new drugs. Nature has already given us what we need to solve this problem. It's called nattokinase, an enzyme that's extracted and purified from natto, a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. This enzyme will help support healthy circulation and blood pressure while keeping your heart cells healthy and your triglycerides at appropriate levels. It doesn't thin your blood like aspirin and other blood thinners. Instead, it breaks down the fibrin, which leads to clots. And, in most cases, combined with low dose aspirin and fish oil, it works just as good as the drugs, with none of the side effects. So, it's a good way to keep your blood flowing smoothly without having your hard-earned dollars flowing into the coffers of pharmaceutical companies. You can order natto by following this link.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD