Nattokinase is an enzyme extracted and purified from a Japanese food called natto and is used to prevent blood clots. Preliminary studies suggest that nattokinase may prevent deep vein thrombosis which is the occurrence of a blood clot thrombosis in a vein lying deep below the skin. Although nattokinase is promoted as an alternative cancer treatment, clinical data of its effectiveness is lacking. Theoretically, nattokinase can cause an existing clot to dislodge, resulting in a stroke or embolus at a distant location. Patients with a history of deep vein thrombosis should avoid the use of nattokinase. Nattokinase has been promoted as an alternative anticancer treatment based on the notion that it can help dissolve the fibrin coating around a tumor and increase oxygen supply in the blood to inhibit cancer cell growth.
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