Clearly, we are facing an epidemic that mainstream medicine has failed to fully address. Preventative measures and healthy lifestyle choices are often ignored or delayed until full-blown heart disease is diagnosed. The precursors to heart disease – hardening of the arteries, plaque buildup, calcification, and blood coagulation – are more readily treated and prevented than a failing heart. This requires an understanding of underlying root causality and strategic treatments to reduce disability, and possible mortality, due to cardiovascular dysfunction.
Proteolytic Enzymes, CoQ10, and Vitamin K2
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.
Certain micro-nutrients are involved in regulating a healthy cardiovascular system, primary of which are CoQ10 and vitamin K2. Proteolytic enzymes play a crucial role in regulating the inflammatory response and preventing the accumulation of excess fibrin in the blood vessels. Those who suffer from heart disease typically have low levels of both CoQ10 and vitamin K2. Proteolytic enzymes begin to decrease at around age 27, long before a patient typically presents with the precursors to heart disease.
“Orally administered proteases, ingested between meals, have been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of inflammatory conditions. There is strong evidence that orally supplemented proteolytic enzymes act to influence the levels of circulating cytokines known to be responsible for inflammatory and immune processes. It is believed that proteolytic enzymes act in at least two ways to control the activity of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Supplemental proteases appear to act both by directly hydrolyzing certain pro-inflammatory cytokines and perhaps indirectly by activating cytokine modulators.”
-Dr. James Howenstine, MD; March 17, 2009; NewsWithViews.com
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. 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.
Homocysteine levels in the blood are often used as a biomarker for inflammation. Vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid are critical for regulating homocysteine. Homocysteine creates inflammation in the body as a result of too much methionine. Homocysteine stops the production of nitric acid, responsible for vasodilation, which causes the blood to thicken setting the stage for atherosclerotic plaque to form.
“Eat your greens” and “get some sunshine” are fairly well agreed-upon healthy habits.
The list of benefits is long and comprehensive.
But did you know that when we eat our dark green leafies AND expose our skin to sunlight, our bodies begin to synthesize CoQ10?
While this may not be convenient enough for modern-day lifestyles, practicing this just once or twice a week could give those falling CoQ10 levels a natural boost.
CoQ10, a powerful anti-oxidant and co-factor in cell energy production, if often low in patients with moderate to severe heart failure. A ten-year study published in the European Journal of Heart Failure reported the following findings when a group of patients supplemented with CoQ10. 2 During the ten year period, study participants, when compared to a control group, were:
- Significantly less likely to die from heart failure
- Less than half as likely to die (from any cause at all)
- Half as likely to have a major adverse cardiac event during the study period
Chronic oxidative stress reduces the functioning of the endothelium, the thin layer of cells lining arteries that controls blood flow and pressure.3 Endothelial dysfunction is a major precursor to hypertension, coronary heart disease, and strokes.
In our commitment to manufacturing solutions that address root causality, World Nutrition has developed a cardiovascular health nutraceutical around the power of nattokinase complemented by the co-factors of CoQ10, vitamins K2 and B6, and folic acid. Nattovita™ supports healthy blood pressure and circulatory health naturally with a potent systemic enzyme blend designed specifically for the cardiovascular system.* Nattovita™ is a non-GMO vegetarian formula free of fillers, chemicals, gluten, yeast, lactose, and talc.**
Your success is our success. Call 800.548.2710 or fill out the contact form to learn more about the power of Nattovita™, systemic enzymes, and the benefits of a World Nutrition wholesale account. Our dedicated account managers are eager to support your practice as you support your patients.
**Nattokinase is orally administered. Its fibrinolytic activity in plasma lasts from 8-12 hours. This contrasts with injectable fibrinolytic agents used at hospitals, which last 4-20 minutes during treatment via IV infusion. There is no toxicity (LD-50) associated with the intake of Nattovita. However, due to its potency and effectiveness, close supervision is required if taken with anticoagulant drugs.
1 http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_failure.htm. Last updated June 16, 2016.
2 Mortensen S, Kumar A, Filipiak K, et al. The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure. Results from the Q-SYMBIO study. European Journal of Heart Failure. 2013;15(S1): S20.
3 Petrofsky JS, Laymon M, Lee H, et al. CoQ10 and Endothelial Function in Asians from Korea compared to Asians born in the United States and US Born Caucasians. Med Sci Monit. 2013; 19:339-46.