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A Safe and Effective Enzyme to Balance the Clotting System
By Dr. Gina Cushman, NMD, PhD

Most people know that the leading cause of death in the developed world is coronary artery disease, usually caused by atherosclerosis and narrowing of the arteries, but what many don't know is that women taking "the pill" run an even higher cardiac risk. Women on birth control patches or injections, and those on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) run the same higher risk. All these prescriptions include hormones, which have a tendency to make blood less fluid and more likely to clot. Studies prove this increases the odds of a clot-related stroke, heart attack, embolism, or other serious cardiac event. And this risk is higher for women on the pill who are over 35 and smoke. Any hormone-containing therapy can raise cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. And surgery poses a special risk for those on the pill.

Surgery, with the bed rest that often follows, boosts the risk of blood clots. Among a list of unacceptable health risks for those considering taking the pill, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed "planning to undergo major surgery," that will involve long-term bed rest. But fortunately, studies on a relatively unknown natural supplement offer great promise in offsetting the cardiovascular risks associated with clotting and hormones.

The functional food supplement Plasmanex1, also known as BFPB, is an enzyme extracted and purified from the popular, Japanese fermented-soybean food, nattõ. While other fermented soy products contain other enzymes, only Plasmanex1 contains the specific enzyme bacillopeptidase F, its active ingredient. Nattõ has a distinctive odor and a nutty flavor, but both have been removed from Plasmanex1, which comes in a capsule form. Scientists aren't sure precisely how Plasmanex1 works, but research shows that it makes blood more fluid and counteracts the coagulant (clotting) tendency of oral contraceptives. And researchers concluded that Plasmanex1 has over 100 times the anti-clotting effect of any other nattõ-derived enzyme (which can benefit anyone concerned with clotting, coronary artery disease, and even diabetes).

In the case of diabetes, abnormal blood sugar levels can promote coagulation. Not surprisingly, diabetics are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease than those without diabetes, and their risk for stroke is also two to four times higher. In one unpublished study, however, diabetics taking Plasmanex1 experienced lower levels of coagulation factors in the blood, as well as improved blood sugar control, boosted immunity, and reduced system inflammation.

Reduced inflammation levels also lower the risks of a vast variety of disorders that have an inflammatory component. This means that further research may prove that Plasmanex1 cuts the risks of hardening of the arteries and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Because Plasmanex1 is derived from food, it is considered safe. High doses of Plasmanex1 have been used in research, and no negative effects were found. Also, the gold standard scientific test for toxicity—called the Ames mutagenicity test—found no toxicity for this natural natto extract. The food nattõ itself contains high quantities of vitamin K, an essential nutrient that, at excess levels, can interfere with blood fluidity. But the vitamin K has been removed from the nattõ extract Plasmanex1 and a study found it safe even for patients with special blood clotting risk factors. For those concerned about excess clots, Plasmanex1 may be—quite literally—a life saver.

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