Does nattokinase interact with blood thinners? What you need to know

As a nutritional supplement renowned for its fibrinolytic “clot-busting” activity, nattokinase may seem risky for people taking prescription blood thinners and anticoagulants. However, current research suggests nattokinase has low bleeding risks and may provide synergistic support when used responsibly under medical supervision in certain cases. However, due to its potent effects on the clotting cascade, proper precautions are still warranted.

A drug interaction happens when one substance alters another drug’s efficacy or toxicity. Blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), Pradaxa (dabigatran), Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and aspirin keep blood flowing freely to prevent strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolism formation. Nattokinase has similar activity. So, in theory, these agents could amplify each other’s effects. However, this interaction has not been confirmed in research or extensive clinical evaluations to date. Currently, evidence suggests nattokinase poses a low bleeding risk based on these key factors.

  • Nattokinase impacts different clotting factors – Blood thinners mainly target vitamin-K-dependent factors II, VII, IX, and X. Nattokinase’s fibrinolytic effects come from activating plasminogen (as mentioned). It means the mechanisms differ despite similar outcomes.
  • Enhances the body’s natural fibrinolytic system – Rather than acting as another synthetic agent, nattokinase simply accentuates the body’s built-in clot-busting processes for more balance.
  • Shown safe with other blood thinners – Smaller clinical trials using combination therapy under medical care reported no unwanted bleeding events or need to adjust medication dosage. This suggests nattokinase as a possibly complementary adjunct.

Experts still advise carefully monitoring your response with anti-clotting medication and nattokinase under your doctor’s guidance. Effects likely depend on the specific blood thinner used, the nattokinase dose, and your underlying health status. Conservatively starting with lower nattokinase amounts makes the most sense.

Who should use nattokinase cautiously?

Again anyone combining nattokinase with blood thinner medication should work closely with their doctor for oversight. Starting conservatively with lower nattokinase amounts seems advisable to assess the effects. Beyond anticoagulant drug interactions, those with underlying bleeding disorders, upcoming surgeries, hemorrhagic strokes, or taking supplements that also thin blood may want to avoid nattokinase due to heightened risks. Additionally, discontinue nattokinase use at least 1-2 weeks before any medical procedures, and always inform your healthcare team about the supplementation as it may alter the bleeding protocols needed.

Nattokinase and aspirin – Does it have any benefits?

In addition to showing safety thus far, early findings suggest nattokinase may support other antithrombotic agents when used under supervision. The complementary mechanisms could offer wide-ranging cardiovascular and circulatory advantages. For instance, low-dose aspirin limits platelet aggregation to lower cardiac risks. But long-term use often depletes vitamin K levels increasing clotting factor activity over time. This counterproductively elevates risk again.

Nattokinase’s contrasting ability to support the body’s native fibrinolytic capacity while lowering the risk of unwanted vitamin K depletion makes it an intriguing supplemental match. It may provide balancing whole-system benefits compared to single-mechanism agents. Likewise, prescription blood thinners and anticoagulants carry high bleeding risks with rebound clotting once stopped. Nattokinase is gentler with fewer side effects, so pairing the two may allow lower medication dosages. Nattokinase also offers multifunctional vascular protection on numerous fronts.

  • Prevents intravascular blood clots without blocking healthy clotting
  • Lowers fibrinogen, CRP, platelet aggregation
  • This blood safely by enhancing RBC flexibility, lowering the viscosity
  • Inhibits platelet-derived growth factors
  • Protects and relaxes fragile endothelial wall blood vessel lining

The combined impact is robust, balanced support for circulatory wellness uniquely lacking from isolated pharmaceuticals. More medical study is still needed. However, supervised, adjunctive nattokinase supplement also provides nutritional benefits absent from anticoagulant medication alone.