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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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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