SAT-618 Nattokinase to Improve Insulin Sensitivity and Weight Loss in Women with Obesity +/- Diabetes

By: Leopoldo M Cobos, MD, Yanira Sanchez-De La Torre, MD, Karen L Herbst, MD, PhD, and Karen Beltran, MD.

This article was published in the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), operated by the United States federal government, which is world’s largest medical library. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the NLM is an institute within the National Institutes of Health. Its collections include more than seven million books, journals, technical reports, manuscripts, microfilms, photographs, and images on medicine and related sciences.


Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) in diabetic person and obesity are related health issues which are increasing in prevalence. But not all obesity is related to DM. Women suffering from Lipedema are categorized as gynoid obese. Nattokinase (Natto) is an enzyme supplement that has been shown to degrade fibrin. Patients with obesity tend to have elevated clotting factors which can lead to adipose tissue hypoxia, impaired insulin signaling, and lead to insulin resistance. Research in fat disorders noted that fat biopsies from women with Lipedema likely had micro-clots, and patients with Lipedema treated with Natto reported a decrease in clothing size and fat distribution. Objective: Determine the effect of Natto on participants with Obesity and DM and in patients with Lipedema without DM. Materials and Methods: Group 1: Involved subjects with Obesity and DM. This was a double blinded, randomized controlled clinical trial over 3 months. A total of 17 female patients were recruited from a rural clinic. Nine received Natto 2,000 FU daily and eight received an identical placebo capsule daily. Fasting labs, questionnaires, bioimpedance, and anthropometric measurements were completed at Baseline and 3 months. Group 2: 42 women with Lipedema seen at a Fat Disorder Clinic. 21 received Natto and 21 did not. We compared for weight only from the day Nattokinase was started until follow-up, which varied from 4 months to 1 year 8 months. Results: Group 1: After 3 months, there was no difference in weight loss in both groups. Per Bioimpedance, more subjects lost water weight in the Natto group (63%) compared to Placebo (33%). More subjects in the Natto group had a decrease in HbA1c (43%) compared to Placebo (22%), with average decrease in the Natto group of 0.9%. Also, more subjects in the Natto group had lower fasting insulin levels (75% vs 22%), lower fasting glucose level (50% vs 22%) and lower HOMA index (63% vs 22%). Group 2: 57% of patients in the Natto group lost weight compared to only 33% of patients not on Natto. Conclusions: In participants with obesity and DM, regardless of weight loss, metabolic health improved after taking Natto for 3 months. Higher percentage of subjects in the treated group had improved HbA1c, fasting Insulin, glucose, and HOMA score. We hypothesize that if treatment time was beyond 3 months, further metabolic improvement would be noted, indicating that Natto could have potential as an adjunct to DM care. The difference in weight loss between Metabolic Obesity and Lipedema reflects the difference in adipose tissue, likely differing in etiology and pathophysiology. Further studies are needed to evaluate long term benefits of Natto, including larger and longer randomized controlled trials, and assessment of clotting factors.

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