SOURCE: Japan Bio Science Laboratory Co.

November 15, 2007 13:25 ET

Japanese Longevity Secret: Eat Bacteria Infested Soybeans

Better Than Fish Oil and Less Risky Than Aspirin, Nattokinase Can Help Lower Heart Disease and Stroke Risk

OSAKA, JAPAN--(Marketwire - November 15, 2007) - Next time your food spoils, think twice before you throw it out; you may have stumbled on a medical breakthrough.

When it comes to major health discoveries, accidents have proven to be an important step in science. Penicillin was discovered accidentally from moldy bread in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, and a famous Japanese warrior, Yoshiie Minamoto, stumbled upon a new discovery in reversing cardiovascular disease with his spoiled lunch.

Boiled soybeans, a popular food of warriors, were packed in rice straw bags for transport with the army, but on one trip, a bacteria called Bacillus subtilis natto found its way into Minamoto's soybean bags and fermented to produce what's now commonly known in Japan as natto (pronounced "nah'-toe") or vegetable cheese.

Fast forward to 1980, at the University of Chicago Medical School where Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi discovered that natto produces an important enzyme during the fermentation process called nattokinase that can be a powerful ally in assisting the body's ability to prevent thrombosis, dissolve blood clots and lower blood pressure.

Reducing plaque build-up and blood clots is really important, especially as we age. With every beat of our heart, the body makes a decision to "clot or not to clot" as it seeks to repair any cut, injury or stress endured by our veins and arteries. Medical experts say that as we age our production of fibrin, the protein involved in the blood clotting, increases and can create a backup in our blood vessels and may be the common denominator of over 300 independent cardiac risk factors.

Most people at risk control blood flow with pharmaceutical medications or aspirin. However, scientific studies have shown that both have serious side effects including stomach hemorrhage and intestinal lining damage.

Nineteen studies including five human trials have demonstrated that nattokinase helps enhance the body's natural ability to fight blood clots and stimulate the body's own production of plasmin and other clot dissolving agents. Research has shown that it may be more effective than fish oil, which only coats blood platelets to keep them from sticking in the blood vessels. Studies have shown that nattokinase gets to the root of the problem and helps dissolve excess fibrin, reduce blood platelet aggregation and decrease blood pressure to improve circulation.

On average the Japanese eat four to five pounds of natto per capita each year, and have been doing so for centuries. It may be the link to why they have the highest average longevity in the world. In the United States, more than 2,500 Americans die from heart disease each day.

But it's unlikely Americans will be convinced to eat fermented Japanese soybeans anytime soon. Your best bet is to get the nattokinase enzyme in powder form and sprinkle it on your food or take it as a dietary supplement. Look for products that contain certified NSK-SD nattokinase, which is fermented with the authentic bacteria (Bacillus subtilis natto) and has been reported in studies to have the highest activity (greater than 20,000 fibrin units per gram). Studies have shown that NSK-SD is also the only real form of nattokinase that removes vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 occurs naturally in the natto but is not considered safe for patients who are taking pharmaceutical blood thinning medications like Coumadin and Warfarin. Learn more about the NSK-SD nattokinase ingredient at Japan Bio Science Laboratory's website, http://www.jbsl-net.com, and click on the English tab.

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