Saturday, July 06, 2013

Nattokinase: a replacement for Warfrin?

I've been looking at Nattokinase as a supplement for my mother, who is suffering from a calcified heart valve, due to (I believe) her long term use of Warfrin. Warfrin is known to be a vitamin k antagonist. But without vitamin k (vitamin k2 specifically), the body can't regulate calcium properly, and it goes into the arteries instead of into the bones.

Nattokinase is known to prevent and even reverse atherosclerosis. Pure Natto is a source of vitamin k2. But even though the product description says that it contains pure nattokinase enzyme with all vitamin k removed, there are warnings to not take it if you are taking Warfarin (Coumadin), or to consult your doctor first if you are taking Warfarin. And from what I've read on the customer comments on Amazon, it seems that people use it to replace Warfarin:

Great results so far!
My husband has a blood clotting disorder and was placed on Coumadin for life. He wasn't doing well on Coumadin. There was so many nasty side effects so we looked for an alternative to Coumadin. This supplement was recommended to us 10 months ago. He is doing so much better since taking Nattokinase. He is off of Coumadin (without his Dr's blessing), it has brought his cholesterol down, brought his blood pressure down (along with vitamin C), and improved his cataracts. He just had an eye exam and his eye glasses prescription was the same as two and a half years ago. That has NEVER happened. His eyes have always gotten worse for every exam. His Dr wasn't happy with him when he got off of Coumadin, but he is happy with the results and can't believe hubby is off of cholesterol and high blood pressure meds. He has never see that happen in his patients. We are excited to see other benefits pop up in the future.
In the threads attached to that post, people ask for an update, and the author, Jennifer, replies one year later:
Hubby is still doing well on Natto. He also takes Vitamin E, Cod Liver Oil, and Ginko Biloba in order to get the thinnest blood that he can. His blood clotting disorder is serious, though.
Another person, Mary Turner, posts this under Jennifer's original post:
The first time I took Cumadin, my legs felt like they were on fire. I had to go every thursday to the clinic as you have to be monitored when taking cumadin which is really a low dose of rat poison (for real). They can never get it right. It's take one pill, take one and a half, go back to one pill and so on. I told my doctor, "I cannot keep taking this stuff. " He replied, "I don't know what else to tell you to take." I said, "yes you do but your hands are tied by the FDA."

I had already read about Natto and had been reading about natural cures for over 12 years. So I ordered Natto and stopped taking Cumadin. The Natto arrived the same day my brother passed away. I was off work for a week taking care of funeral arrangements but took the Natto everyday. The following Thursday, I went back to the clinic to give them a blood sample and went to work. They called my job to give me the results as usual.

The nurse was so excited and said to me, "your blood plattelets are perfect; how much Cumadin shall I tell the doctor you took?" I said, "tell the doctor I did not take any of that rat poison." She even got more excited and wanted me to tell her what I took to get these results. She looked it up on line as I spelled it out for her and gave me a big thank you as she wanted it for herself.

Now I had not spoke to anyone about what I had taken but they thought it was Cumidin that did the trick. So what does that tell you. [...]

Jennifer also said in the thread that her husband didn't just stop taking Warfarin/Coumadin, that there was an overlap for about a month, where he took both but transitioned to just Nattokinase.

Many other reviewers reported that it lowered their blood pressure, and improved their overall blood circulation. A handful of people said it did nothing for them (I've found that is usually the case with supplement reviews; there are always some who say that). It does seem that it's used in place of Warfarin/Coumadin, rather than with it.

My sister says that my mother's doctor says, he would not object to any supplements as long as they don't interfere with what he has prescribed for her. It seems to me that the Nattokinase would interfere with the Warfarin.

I thought that I might try her on Vitamin K2 (Jarrow Formulas MK-7), because I read that vitamin k1 interferes with Warfarin's blood thinning, but vitamin K2 does not. Yet the K2 supplements also warn against taking them with Warfarin, or at least with consulting a doctor first before taking them.

So, is the only answer to stop taking Warfarin/Coumadin? That would be a tough sell for my mom. She's afraid to go against what the doctors tell her.

Here are a list of links about vitamin K2, and how it's been used to reverse calcification in arteries and heart valves. There have been studies that show reversal of arterial calcification in rats:

I've looked for information about reversing calcification of heart valves in humans. I could not find a lot of information, and what I did find was anecdotal:

But even mainstream medicine doesn't rule it out completely, they just say there are insufficient studies to prove it yet:

There seems to be no end to articles on the subject:

There was even a book published in 2011, called "Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life":

But it's gone out of print, despite getting high ratings from readers. Only the Kindle edition is still available at a reasonable price. Used copies are very expensive. I hope they print more copies soon.

Update 07-12-13:

Our local health food store gave me a report about Nattokinase. It's quite informative, and I found it online in PDF format:

No comments: