Improvement of Blood Fluidity using NKCP, a Dried Culture Filtrate of Bacillus Subtilis
Tetsuya Hayashi (Daiwa Pharm), Chie Takahashi (Microchannel Array Technology Team), and Yuji Kikuchi (Microchannel Array Techology Team). - Journal of Hemorheology Research 5 (1), 2002
NKCP, a nattokinase containing food product without the distinctive flavor of natto, was prepared from the culture filtrate of Bacillus subtilis. To confirm the effect of this food extract on blood fluidity, NKCP was given orally to 13 healthy volunteers for 1 week. Fibrinolytic activity was determined by euglobulin lysis time, and this study showed that those subjects given 250-500mg/day of NKCP had increased fibrinolytic activity. One healthy volunteer repeatedly took 1g of NKCP after each meal and the whole blood passage time, determined using MC-FAN, was markedly reduced after 7 days of ingestion.
In Japan, the number of patients with thrombosis, such as ischemic heart diseases and cerebral infarction, has significantly increased, resulting in increasing focus being given to prevention. Natto is a traditional Japanese food that has well been known to have beneficial effects on health. Sumi et al. discovered serine protease with high fibrin degrading activity in natto, which he named nattokinase(1), and confirmed that oral administration of nattokinase gradually increases fibrinolytic activity(2). Since the discovery of nattokinase, natto has been regarded as a functional food that can help protect against thrombosis. However, many people do not like natto because of its distinctive flavor and texture, so in order to make the benefits of natto more widely available, a food-based powder called NKCP was developed, and its ability to optimize blood fluidity upon oral ingestion was confirmed.
Regarding the effect of NKCP ingestion on fibrinolytic activity, the euglobulin lysis time reduced in 7 out of 8 of the subjects on Day 4 of ingestion and in all subjects on Day 7 in the 500 mg/day group. The average difference in euglobulin lysis time between before and after ingestion was 1.1 hours on Day 4 and 1.6 hours on Day 7, as shown in Fig. 1. A similar reduction was observed in 3 of 5 subjects in the 250 mg/day group.
Regarding the effect on blood fluidity, the whole blood passage time markedly reduced on Day 7 of NKCP ingestion, as shown in Fig. 2. The mean passage time was 54.8 seconds for 1 month before the start of ingestion and 46.7 seconds between Days 7 and 14 of ingestion. The mean passage time reduced by about 8 seconds.
Figure 1: Changes in euglobulin lysis time in subjects given NKCP orally
NKCP is produced by removing low molecular components from the culture filtrate of Bacillus subtilis and drying and powdering the resulting culture filtrate. It contains soybean protein, its degradation products, and high amounts of nattokinase, but without the distinctive flavor of natto. Favorable results were obtained in mutagenicity, acute toxicity, subacute toxicity, antigenicity, and excessive ingestion studies, showing that NKCP is a promising functional food for the prevention and improvement of thrombosis. In the present study, oral ingestion of NKCP at 500 mg/day or 250 mg/day clearly reduced the euglobulin lysis time, confirming that it was able to increase fibrinolytic activity. Also, measurement using a blood fluidity analyzer (MC-FAN) showed that oral ingestion of NKCP reduced the whole blood passage time, suggesting that NKCP inhibits platelet aggregation and thus reduces the probability of thrombus formation.
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Yuji Kikuchi, Chieko Takahashi, and Atsuko Isono: Determination Using MC-FAN and Comparison between Men and Women of Whole Blood Passage Time, Journal of Hemorheology Research 2, 25-28 (1999)