Degradative effect of Nattokinase on spike protein (2023)

In the relentless pursuit of solutions for long-COVID, the attention of many has been drawn to an intriguing natural compound called Nattokinase. This centuries-old staple of Japanese medicine has gained notoriety for one simple reason: according to two preclinical studies, it can break down the COVID-19 spike protein.

In this article, we’ll review the history of Nattokinase, summarize the studies detailing its effects on Spike, and relay what this all means for you.

What Is Nattokinase?

Nattokinase is a protease enzyme extracted from Natto, a Japanese fermented soybean dish. An enzyme is simply a protein that speeds up biological reactions such as digestion, metabolism, or DNA replication. Protease enzymes, in particular, are like biochemical scissors, uniquely equipped to chop up proteins into manageable pieces by severing the bonds that hold them together. 

Historical Use of Natto 

Natto has been a staple in Japanese traditional medicine for over two millennia. It has a longstanding reputation as a remedy for a variety of health conditions, mostly related to blood vessel dysfunction. This reputation stems from the compound’s ability to degrade (chop up) a protein called fibrin, which is integral to blood clot formation. In the past few decades, however, research has highlighted Nattokinase’s diverse effects on the cardiovascular system. It has been shown, among much else, to lower blood pressure, improve blood lipids, and reduce atherosclerosis risk [1]. 

Nattokinase vs. Spike Protein

Nattokinase's recent claim to fame, however, is its intriguing interaction with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The spike protein acts as a sort of key which allows the COVID-19 virus to unlock and enter human cells, where it can then replicate and wreak havoc.  

A point of much concern, however, is that the spike protein may do more than just facilitate the virus' entry into cells. Research has been found it to persist in the body long after infection or vaccination, potentially serving as a source for long-haul symptoms [2, 3]. 

Preclinical Evidence 

Researchers in Japan in 2021 raised eyebrows when they demonstrated that Nattokinase could effectively block SARS-CoV-2 from infecting host cells by breaking down the spike protein [4]. Another study in 2022 echoed these findings, showing rapid spike protein degradation in the presence of Nattokinase [5]. By cleaving certain amino acid sequences of the spike protein, Nattokinase disrupts its structure and function. In theory, this could not only limit replication, but prevent it from exerting its long-term, harmful effects. 

Looking Ahead 

These preclinical studies point to Nattokinase as a promising therapeutic for those suffering from acute COVID-19 infection and long-haul symptoms. Given its favorable safety profile and affordability, Nattokinase seems to be a key weapon in our arsenal to combat the lingering presence of spike protein. As we continue to learn more about the long-term effects of this complex virus, we at TWC remain focused on supporting your wellness through research-backed solutions.   

Related Supplements  

The Wellness Company's Spike Support Formula contains Nattokinase, in addition to the other ingredients below:  

  • Selenium (aids in helping the body repair itself and recover)   
  • Dandelion root (may prevent spike protein from binding to cells)   
  • Black sativa extract (may facilitate cellular repair)   
  • Green tea extract (provides added defenses at the cellular level through scavenging for free radicals)   
  • Irish sea moss (could help rebuild damaged tissue and muscle) 

References 

[1] Chen, H., McGowan, E. M., Ren, N., Lal, S., Nassif, N., Shad-Kaneez, F., ... & Lin, Y. (2018). Nattokinase: a promising alternative in prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Biomarker insights, 13, 1177271918785130. 

[2] Swank, Z., Senussi, Y., Alter, G., & Walt, D. R. (2022). Persistent circulating SARS-CoV-2 spike is associated with post-acute COVID-19 sequelae. Medrxiv, 2022-06. 

[3] Yonker, L. M., Swank, Z., Bartsch, Y. C., Burns, M. D., Kane, A., Boribong, B. P., ... & Walt, D. R. (2023). Circulating Spike Protein Detected in Post–COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Myocarditis. Circulation. 

[4] Oba, M., Rongduo, W., Saito, A., Okabayashi, T., Yokota, T., Yasuoka, J., ... & Mizutani, T. (2021). Natto extract, a Japanese fermented soybean food, directly inhibits viral infections including SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 570, 21-25.  

[5] Tanikawa, T., Kiba, Y., Yu, J., Hsu, K., Chen, S., Ishii, A., ... & Kitamura, M. (2022). Degradative effect of nattokinase on spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Molecules, 27(17), 5405. 

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