Nattokinase is a fibrinolytic enzyme derived from natto, a fermented soybean product. It acts by inactivating plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1).57 Studies show that it has fibrinolytic activity four times more potent than plasmin.58 Animal models demonstrate that nattokinase supplementation inhibits thickening of the intimal wall after vessel injury.59 Research has also shown that nattokinase increases thrombolysis at the site of thrombus formation caused by endothelial injury.60
Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme originally isolated from the silkworm. It has antiinflammatory and fibrinolytic activity and decreases swelling. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that serrapeptase supplementation rapidly decreased inflammation and decreased symptoms in a group of patients suffering from ENT symptoms.61 Although there are no current studies with serrapeptase and cardiovascular disease, it may provide benefit for decreasing inflammation associated with these conditions.
Other anti-inflammatory botanicals worth mentioning include Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), Boswellia serrata, Green tea (Camellia sinensis), and Perilla frutescens. (See Chapter 20 on inflammation.)
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