Nattokinase appears to naturally treat thromboses, may soon be sold as aspirin replacement

Nattokinase may prevent blood clots associated with air travel, experts say.The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons has said that taking aspirin may not prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is the formation of a clot in the blood vessels, usually in a vein deep within the legs or hips.

Surgeries, obesity and even prolonged air travel can increase the risk of DVTs, a condition that has a 3 percent mortality rate when untreated. So, if aspirin does not significantly affect DVTs, what does?

One possible solution is nattokinase. An extract obtained from a popular Japanese food, nattokinase may treat DVT and even cardiovascular disease, according to an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Physicians Assistants (JAAPA).

Nattokinase is an enzyme created by fermenting soybeans using a bacteria called Bacillus natto. Research has shown that it can have anticoagulant properties when taken in moderate doses.

A recent study found that airline passengers given three daily doses of nattokinase were less likely to develop a DVT during a flight.

While currently it is rarely used clinically, the article in the JAAPA suggests that further clinical trials of nattokinase may cement its potential health benefits.