Does this nutrient clear blood clots as well as natto?

September 10, 2012
Volume 2    |   Issue 71
If you’re looking to avoid blood clots and a potential heart attack or stroke, few nutrients can hold a candle to nattokinase. I’ve told you in the past about how this powerful fermented soy supplement dissolves the fibrin in your blood. Fibrin is what sticks together to cause the clots. However, after I wrote about natto, one subscriber, Trudy L., wrote in to tell me she thinks there’s another supplement that works just as well.

Here’s what Trudy had to say: “I hope that sometime you will also write an article about the protein digesting enzyme bromelain. Bromelain is the reason I have not so far tried nattokinase--because bromelain does everything claimed for nattokinase and more. Like natto, bromelain dissolves clots, plaque, and fibrin/fibrinogen. Bromelain is also a safer, faster-acting alternative to Coumadin and lisinopril, without the side “Bromelain brought my coronary blockage down to safe levels in six weeks. I took one-third the recommended dose for three weeks. Then I took the full dose for three weeks. It brought my smoker's blood thickness from 2.8 to 1.0, and my blood pressure from 201/104 to 134/80. My degenerative joint disease arthritis also stopped paining me. That’s because bromelain is also a selective prostaglandin inhibitor of COX-1, COX-2, and 5-LOX.

“Bromelain has also been found effective as an apoptotic and found effective specifically for otherwise-untreatable Lewis lung cancer cells. It kills ANY cancer cells by first digesting the tough outer cell wall, and then the inner wall. Then the cancer cell implodes and dies without metastasizing its contents. Yet for some reason not yet determined, bromelain does NOT similarly affect healthy cells. They know that bromelain can tell the difference – they just don't quite know how, yet.

“Reason enough to write an article about a simple protease found in raw pineapple and raw papaya, I would think.”

Needless to say, I was impressed by Trudy’s story. And there is some scientific evidence to suggest it will prevent blood clots. A study done in 2006 saw a marked increase in anti-platelet (anti-clotting) activity with bromelain. But there’s not a lot of research on this particular activity.

There are far more studies on bromelain’s cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pain properties. However, those studies are not overwhelmingly convincing. The Natural Standard, an organization that compiles studies on nutritional supplements and grades their effectiveness, gives bromelain a “C” on effectiveness in these areas. Its highest grade comes as a treatment for sinusitis, where it receives a “B.”

In other words, bromelain is a broader spectrum nutrient than natto, but most of the evidence suggests it’s better for pain and inflammation than for preventing clots. So if you’re looking for clot protection and to regulate your blood pressure, stick with natto. However, if bromelain works for you, by all means, use it. It’s completely safe at standard doses of 250 mg – and even at higher doses up to 2,000 mg (for rheumatoid arthritis).

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Finally, I’d like to thank Trudy for taking the time to write. If you have a nutrient you’d like to see me write about, please reply to this email and let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Your Insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.


Platelets. 2006 Feb;17(1):37-41.

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