Systemic Enzyme Therapy:
Understanding the Differences between Serrapeptase and Nattokinase
Systemic enzymes, used throughout Europe and Asia for decades, play an integral role in maintaining and supporting every function within the body. Enzymes are essential for sparking thousands of chemical reactions in the functions of growth, repair, reproduction, digestion, and metabolism system-wide. They also play a key role in regulating inflammation and fibrin in the body, signaling the body when to stop producing fibrin, as well as eliminating excess fibrin that has accumulated.
The strength and concentration of our enzymes is directly related to how well our bodies fight disease and infection, repair injured tissues, and sustain the body’s multitude of functions including reproduction. Without an adequate supply of systemic enzymes, we can suffer from impairment in digestion, scar tissue/fibrin regulation, blood coagulation, reproduction, respiration, and the immune system.
Without an adequate supply of systemic enzymes, we can suffer from impairment in digestion, scar tissue/fibrin regulation, blood coagulation, reproduction, respiration, and the immune system.
Generally speaking, the body has a sufficient supply of enzymes though the age of 27. Several modern-day influences – such as less-than ideal food and nutrition, toxic environments, chemicals, and stress – contribute to this decline. As our natural enzyme supply diminishes over time, we may notice that we take longer to heal and “bounce back” compared to when we were younger. Without enzymes, we are more susceptible to diseases, we age more quickly, and our bodies degenerate faster. Systemic Enzyme Therapy can stem this tide and help replace what has been lost due to age and other factors.
Two primary systemic enzymes – serrapeptase and nattokinase - have been identified in the past several decades and they are proving to be very beneficial in combatting certain health conditions related to chronic inflammation. * While both have demonstrated to be the strongest and most fibrinolytic of their types, they have different but certain functions in the body.
Serrapeptase, also known as serratia peptidase; is a proteolytic enzyme isolated from the non-pathogenic enterobacteria Serratia E15. It was first discovered as the protease synthesized by the silkworm to dissolve its strong fibrin-rich cocoon before it emerges as a moth. Studies show that serrapeptase induces fibrinolytic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-edemic (preventing swelling and fluid retention) activity in a number of tissues.1,2 Its anti-inflammatory effects are widely believed superior to other proteolytic enzymes due to its ability to dissolve the fibrous and/or scar tissue related to the inflammation. Another primary benefit of serrapeptase is the reduction of pain attributed to the enzyme’s ability to block the release of pain-inducing amines from inflamed tissues. Physicians in Europe and Asia use serrapeptase as an alternative to aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs.
A primary role of systemic enzymes is to dissolve and digest non-living tissue – scars, excess fibrin, and adhesions. Due to its strength and its natural design for dissolving the fibrous tissue of the cocoon, serrapeptase has been very therapeutic in the treatment of fibroids, scar tissue, systemic inflammation, and related pain. Reducing inflammation and fibrin with a systemic enzyme formulated around the strength of serrapeptase, such as Vitälzȳm™ Xe, may be a useful strategy for reducing pain by way of clearing inflammation and halting the inflammatory process. *
Primary pathways of systemic enzyme therapy:
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Systemic enzymes, like serrapeptase, may be a safe and alternative treatment to pain and inflammation as they target only the excess or damaging fibrin/scar tissue and help regulate normal, healthy fibrin levels that are necessary for healing and repair after surgery or an injury. Resolving issues of excess fibrin and scar tissue may have a tremendous impact on patient pain and discomfort related to women’s reproductive health, joint pain, gastrointestinal conditions, cardiovascular health, and any chronic condition related to inflammation.
For decades, the medical community mostly agreed that an unhealthy cholesterol level was the primary cause of heart attacks. That is until autopsies confirmed that young victims of sudden heart attack did not have atherosclerotic plaque in their arteries. After much controversy and research, we now know that vascular inflammation in the arterial walls can close off blood vessels as tightly as the buildup of plaque itself.
Inflammation in the cardiovascular system is no different than inflammation elsewhere in the body. As a response to trauma, injury, or repeated insult to the body, inflammation sets off a cascade of events that becomes the root cause of the components of cardiovascular disease. Without the proper mechanisms for managing chronic stress to the body and the inflammation that ensues, the body is vulnerable to uncontrolled inflammation and fibrosis which lead to plaque buildup and circulatory dysfunction.
Nattokinase** is a profibrinolytic enzyme extracted and purified from the essence of natto, a fermented soybean food used by the Japanese for thousands of years as a traditional food medicine. Nattokinase was first identified in 1980 by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi, M.D., Ph.D., who was researching thrombolytic enzymes to dissolve dangerous blood clots. After testing more than 200 natural foods as potential thrombolytic agents, Sumi found that natto possessed a substance with "a potency matched by no other enzyme." Dr. Sumi named the newly discovered enzyme nattokinase.Natto also contains large amounts of vitamin K2, as do other fermented foods. Lack of vitamin K2 can cause calcium to be deposited in our arteries, aorta, and soft tissues rather than in our bones. Vitamin K2, along with magnesium, is critical for regulating calcium in the body to protect bone health and prevent calcium buildup in the arteries.
The same way serrapeptase successfully targets excess tissue in the form of fibroids and scar tissue, nattokinase is especially therapeutic when targeting thrombi in the cardiovascular system. Because enzymes are a natural component in a healthy body, there is very little risk or occurrence of toxicity. But make no mistake, they are powerful. Nattokinase, in particular, is so successful at improving blood flow and volume that its use should be carefully considered and monitored if a person is being treated for blood coagulation problems. It should not be used by persons currently taking a prescription blood thinner, unless under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
If there is no cardiovascular involvement in a particular health complaint, a systemic enzyme formula, like Vitälzȳm™ Xe, would be an appropriate choice for any condition related to pain, inflammation, and especially for excess scar tissue and fibrin. * For those who have concerns about cardiovascular health and would still like the benefits of a systemic formula, we recommend Nattovita™. It is especially formulated to harness the power of nattokinase with a therapeutic, yet safe, level of blood cleansing. *
Just like you, we recognize that good health is the result of a well-balanced lifestyle, including proper diet and exercise complemented by natural and superior supplements. Our philosophy is simple: we focus on identifying problems at their source. Current conventional medicine revolves around controlling and minimizing symptoms but gives little credence to restoring systemic function. We cannot continue to ignore the laws of nature and expect to experience vibrant health.
One of the potentially most useful areas for enzymes is in stopping the progression, and hopefully promoting regression of, arteriosclerotic plaques. Excessive clotting caused by infectious inflammatory reactions in the body is now believed to play an important role in the causation of arteriosclerosis. This can be reversed by the fibrin lysis occurring during enzyme therapy.
-Dr. James Howenstine, MD; March 17, 2009; NewsWithViews.com
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1 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 1988 May; 85(9): 3245-3249