Health Benefits of Lumbrokinase
There are plenty of health benefits of Lumbrokinase. Earthworms have been utilized by China, Far East countries, and Japan, as a traditional medicine for several years. Oral administration of dry earthworm powder is said to be an effective and potent supplement for supporting healthy blood circulation. Lumbrokinase is a bunch of enzymes, which were purified by isolating them from different species of earthworms. These enzymes are known as the fibrinolytic class of earthworms, which are used in treating several conditions linked with thrombosis.
Many of the Lumbrokinase genes have been characterized and cloned. Advantages in genetic technology have made it feasible to purify a single lumbrokinase enzyme for potential antithrombotic applications and provided the ability to produce recombinant LK. This blog's primary focus is on the expression systems, which can be used for producing Lumbrokinase.
What is Lumbrokinase?
An enzyme derived from Lumbricus rubellus called Lumbrokinase is a species of earthworm sold as a dietary supplement and is classified as a fibrinolytic enzyme. Fibrinolytic enzyme is a substance that promotes fibrinogen's breakdown, a well-known protein involved in blood clotting. Including the prevention of stroke and angina treatment, especially coronary chest pains, supplementing with lumbrokinase is considered to provide health benefits.
Henceforth, it can be said that earthworms have been utilized as traditional Chinese medicine for treating lung, circulatory, spleen disorders, and liver problems. They are commonly called as di long, which means "earth dragon." Lumbrokinase supplements are sometimes called boluoke lumbrokinase or boluoke.
Earthworms comprise several compounds with potential medicinal attributes and have been administered to treat hematological, inflammatory, nerve, and oxidative diseases.
They also have antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticancer attributes, which also exhibit fibrinolytic activity. However, the main enzymes are the pharyngeal region, clitellum, crop, intestine, and gizzard that play an essential part in dissolving the fibrin.
How is Lumbrokinase Made?
Lumbrokinase supplements are not derived from earthworms, although they are considered as a natural supplement. Instead, they are made in the lab with the help of recombinant gene technologies. That is why certain products are sold as "Lumbrokinase RNA" or "RNA boluoke."
Scientists in Japan, in 1991, successfully extracted a group of fibrinolytic enzymes from Lumbricus rubellus. Lumbricus rubellus are genes of which were replicated and sequenced in the lab. Several Lumbrokinase supplements on market shelves are made by genetically engineered E. coli, churning out the enzymes in the production procedure and volumes.
The Safety Record of Lumbrokinase
Discovery of Lumbrokinase in the earthworms is a targeted investigation into understanding the traditional medical practices in Asian cultures and not by accident. Earthworms are considered a safe ingredient according to all ancient and modern medical writings and cumulative experiences.
Besides, they have been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicines to date.
What about enzymes that are extracted from earthworms; even though they appear to be very safe. Past experiences with pharmaceuticals' evolution have made us learn to be vigilant about the risk of excessive bleeding with any agent that affects the coagulation system. Henceforth, one of the most-watched side-effects is bleeding in the early research, along with the trials having Lumbrokinase in them.
Virtually all of the workers who have ever published or studied Lumbrokinase have concluded that it is a well-tolerated and safe fibrinolytic enzyme making.
The review paper by Wang et al. made a total of the overall adverse reaction rate of 3 percent and has symptoms such as dizziness, headache, nausea, and constipation. However, all of the symptoms resolved rapidly after ending the medication, which required no additional treatment. Another review paper by Tang et al. came in front with a lower rate of the adverse reaction, i.e., 0.7 percent; however, the authors considered this number to be under-estimation. There are no bleeding issues or any damage caused to liver or kidney functions other than nausea, rash, dizziness, skin itch, and vomiting.
Experiences in pharmaceutical drug development have taught the researchers that clinical trials are simply simulations. They do not need to be perfect according to the study designs. In time, any drug's adverse reaction profile can only be realized after being put on the market and utilized in real-life conditions.
Most of them are sold in Asian states; there are currently many Lumbrokinase–containing products in the market. Some of the products are nutritional supplements, some are pharmaceutical products, and some are Traditional Chinese medicines. Earthworm–derived and Lumbrokinase products have maintained an excellent safety record over the past 30 years with little to none adverse reaction reported.
Difference Between Lumbrokinase and Other Enzyme Products
Lumbrokinase is a mixture of enzymes made of earthworms, and not all of the Lumbrokinase products are made the same. Henceforth, products manufactured by individual companies would have slightly different attributes because of the differences in the earthworm species that are used. They may differ because of the purification and the extraction method too.
Some Lumbrokinase products can affect the lab tests such as PTT or INR; however, not all of them would have. They may also vary in the type of fillers, quality control processes, and capsules used. Good quality Lumbrokinase products must provide the same clinical benefits, despite the differences if they are correctly used.
Besides, without enzymatic strength and total enzymatic activities assayed, the products with standardized enzymatic activities may contain Lumbrokinase.
The question comes up is how does Lumbrokinase compare to other proteolytic enzymes because certain oral proteolytic enzymes are currently present in the market. They may include pancreatic enzymes, bromelain, nattokinase, serrapeptase, etc.
By nature of being a protein and in terms of safety, many proteolytic enzymes have broad-spectrum enzyme activities, which are not specific towards fibrin. Thus, more similar and comparable to Lumbrokinase, only serrapeptase and nattokinase are being promoted as possessing fibrinolytic activity.
Serrapeptase is an enzyme that is brought out from silkworms and has been displayed to be a powerful and effective anti-inflammatory enzyme for swelling and pain reduction. Anyhow, it still lacks clinical research that supports its use in the thromboembolic conditions. Lumbrokinase's fibrinolytic strength is about 300 – fold stronger than serrapeptase on a milligram to milligram basis.
If we talk about nattokinase, it is an enzyme extracted from traditional Japanese fermented soybeans and is an active enzyme that improves various hypercoagulation-associated parameters. It also looks very promising as an oral enzyme in preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases. However, the use of nattokinase in the trials of human clinical involves thromboembolic conditions and is limited accordingly. Lumbrokinase's fibrinolytic strength is about 30 – fold stronger than nattokinase on a milligram to milligram basis.
Henceforth, serrapeptase is not included in a whole fibrinolytic enzyme list. It must primarily be used for pain association of inflammation linked with a sinus infection, oral or facial surgeries, chronic airway disease, and arthritis. Lumbrokinase and nattokinase would be more suitable for patients with mild and severe hypercoagulation or low or high cardiovascular risk.
Health Benefits of Lumbrokinase
Despite certain benefits, Lumbrokinase is being searched upon as an antithrombotic agent. Also known as platelets, Thrombocytes are the red blood cells that clump together whenever the tissues are compromised to help the bleeding stop.
Antithrombotic agents work on the rule of inhibiting the ability of blood cells to stick together. This can help lessen or prevent the impact of illnesses like myocardial infarction, stroke, heart attack, and deep vein thrombosis, also called DVT.
Antiplatelet drugs like aspirin and Plavix (clopidogrel) and anticoagulants like Coumadin (warfarin) are examples of antithrombotic agents.
Preliminary studies have hinted at certain benefits; although, there is little scientific evidence to support the claims.
Following are some of its health benefits:
- May Help Against Angina
Lumbrokinase can also help treat stable angina according to a study conducted in 2009 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Researchers assigned a daily dose of Lumbrokinase to 10 people suffering from angina for this study with addition to standard cardiovascular care.
Angina symptoms started improving in six patients after 60 days but showed no improvement in four of them. Stress technetium – 99m sestamibi myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) was done by concluding the active treatment period.
The extent and degree of inducible ischemia observed were evaluated using the previously validated semi-quantitative indices on the myocardial perfusion images. The mean summed stress score and the summed difference score following active treatment decreased by 37 percent and 39 percent, respectively.
However, angina symptoms were improved in 6 out of 10 patients, and no adverse reaction, including minor or major bleeding, was seen. Henceforth, it was concluded that Lumbrokinase improved regional myocardial perfusion in patients with a stable form of angina.
- May Help to Treat Coronary Artery Disease
Heavy use of tobacco smoke is linked to cardiovascular disease occurrence compared to the nonsmokers. However, the linked molecular event is not well elucidated as of yet. There is proof that Lumbrokinase can improve the outcomes of people suffering from coronary artery diseases (CAD).
It comes off by increasing the blood flow in the people having myocardial ischemia. Myocardial ischemia is the partial blockage of one or both the coronary arteries. As per a study of 2006 in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, rats induced with myocardial infarction got to experience the improved cardiovascular blood markers, reduced mortality, and reduced arrhythmia.
This was all a procedure done by using Lumbrokinase as a treatment method. It is uncertain and not confirmed if the same result would be seen in human beings too. Exposure to second-hand smoking, commonly known as SHS, increases the molecular markers of cardiac fibrosis like urokinase plasminogen and matrix metallopeptidases.
However, according to the result, Lumbrokinase can effectively prevent cardiac diseases' epidemiological incidence among chain smokers.
- May Be Beneficial Against Stroke or Heart Attack
Stroke and heart attack are two of the most common and devastating circulatory issues that one faces in their time. The majority of strokes cases are because of thromboembolism, and heart attacks are due to coronary arteries' blockage.
Henceforth, thrombolytics, anticoagulants, and antiplatelet are the three main categories used to treat or prevent such issues. Many of these have some side effects, but Lumbrokinase does not have any side effects. Preliminary research shows that Lumbrokinase can help in recovering people who have had a stroke.
As per a study done in 2013 in the Chinese Medical Journal, 310 of the people were treated with a standard case or standard care along with a daily dose of Lumbrokinase in the hospital. It is a type that comes up when an artery in the brain gets blocked, causing a stroke. The group provided Lumbrokinase has better outcomes than the ones who did not. This concluded the improved circulation in the fewer unstable plaques, carotid arteries, better overall morality, and fewer repeat strokes.
- For the Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy
According to a study of 2013 in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, Lumbrokinase can help prevent diabetic Nephropathy, commonly called DN. It is the chronic loss of kidney function in people who have Diabetes. This condition is linked with poor control of high blood pressure and Diabetes. Both of the conditions commonly coexist.
Lab mice with induced type 1 diabetes, according to research, we're given an angiotensin-converting enzyme called ACE inhibitor or Lumbrokinase to treat diabetic Nephropathy. The mice provided Lumbrokinase after 12 weeks of experience and showed improvement in kidney functions compared to that of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor.
The current study was made to investigate the therapeutic effect and the underlying mechanism of Lumbrokinase on diabetic Nephropathy. As per diabetic rats, they developed glomerulosclerosis, tubulointerstitial fibrosis, proteinuria, and a marked increase of renal cortical collagen IV.
As compared to this, MMP – 9 and MMP – 2 were significantly reduced in the renal cortex of diabetic rats. Henceforth, it concluded that Lumbrokinase treatment attenuated the diabetic Nephropathy in diabetic rats. It may be because of the increased amount of the subsequent degradation of the extracellular matrix or activity of MMPs.
Many cancer patients are hypercoagulable, especially those at the last stage because they are prone to develop venous thromboembolism. Henceforth, it is pretty reasonable to use Lumbrokinase to prevent or help treat cancer-associated thromboembolism. Lumbrokinase has been mentioned as a potential anti-metastatic and anti-tumor agent in recent years.
There is various clinical and vitro evidence supporting the indulgence of hypercoagulation in stimulating metastasis and tumor growth. Some proofs show the potential use of anticoagulants in limiting metastasis and cancer growth.
Henceforth, it is entirely reasonable to make sure if Lumbrokinase can be advantageous in oncology patients' entire treatment process. Lumbrokinase can inhibit stomach cancer cell growth in the early and liver cancer cell metastasis in animal models and vitro.
- Chronic Biofilm – Associated Infections
Biofilm–associated chronic infection has widely become a generally discussed topic in the past few years. Henceforth, it is necessary to mention that Lumbrokinase has been shown to break down biofilm by improving antibiotics' effectiveness in vitro.
Although it lacks several studies on humans, chronic infection, along with chronic inflammation, tends to make a hypercoagulable blood state; however, some clinicians can feel that Lumbrokinase's actual benefits help reduce complications related to hypercoagulation.
Besides, it is also beneficial for
- High blood pressure
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Hardening of arteries
- Poor circulation
- Varicose veins
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
- Muscle spasms
- Other conditions
However, more evidence is required to mark the effectiveness of Lumbrokinase for usage.
Side Effects of Lumbrokinase
Not everyone knows about Lumbrokinase, and individual studies have reported mild effects of a small percentage of users facing headaches, constipation, nausea, and dizziness. Lumbrokinase should be used by pregnant women, children, and nursing mothers due to a lack of research. It should also be ignored by the people who have bleeding disorders as fibrinolytic drugs, including hemophilia.
However, before two weeks of surgery, the patient should stop taking Lumbrokinase to avoid excessive bleeding. Because it is not known if Lumbrokinase can be taken along with other medicines or not, let your doctor know about any of the medications that you are using to avoid any type of interaction, along with the prescription, recreational drugs, herbal, or the over – the – counter drugs.
It may affect;
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
- May cause bleeding disorders
- May lead to low blood pressure
- It also might increase the chance of surgery
Lumbrokinase can decrease blood clotting by using with other medicines like:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Diclofenac (Voltaren
- Cataflam, others)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others)
- Dalteparin (Fragmin)
- Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
- Heparin warfarin (Coumadin)
- And others.
Dosage and Preparation
Lumbrokinase supplements are readily available in specialty supplements and online stores. The dose can vary by its range from 20 mg – 40 mg and its brand accordingly, as per an oral capsule. In addition to the active ingredients, lumbrokinase capsules usually have the non –active fillers like plant cellulose and rice hull.
Many manufacturers recommend using Lumbrokinase between one or two capsules daily, although there are no proper guidelines for the appropriate usage of Lumbrokinase. Never exceed the dose of Lumbrokinase as recommended on the product label as a rule of thumb.
Ideally, in a cold or dry cupboard or pantry, Lumbrokinase supplements can be stored at room temperature. Like other medicines, do not use Lumbrokinase beyond its expiration date or if the capsules are damp, broken, or discolored.
The following doses have been suggested according to scientific research:
Two thousand formula units of Lumbrokinase must be utilized daily up to eight weeks for high blood pressure.
What to Look for?
Dietary supplements, including Lumbrokinase supplements, are not regulated in the United States. Besides, they are not subject to the rigorous testing like pharmaceutical drugs are. The quality can vary significantly from one brand to another because of this.
Therefore, choose brands that have been voluntarily tested by an independent certifying body like the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or Consumer Lab to ensure safety and quality.
The certification of the products makes sure that the supplement has the ingredients listed on the product label. Henceforth, always check the product label for the fillers that can come out allergic to you.
Lumbrokinase supplements, compared to other dietary supplements, can be quite expensive, and its range can vary from $40 and $100 for a 60 – count bottle. By contrast, a 100 – count bottle can be taken once daily of warfarin, whose average is around $45 per day.
Present and Future Challenges for Lumbrokinase
With time, earthworms' use to get to the circulatory health in traditional medicine has come a long way. It started with the dried earthworms used in traditional oriental herbal decorations, and then it proceeded to ground up to the powder form. Later it advanced by coming into a crude form of earthworms and finally led into Lumbrokinase.
Lumbrokinase is a purified multiple – enzyme preparation made from earthworms. In time lumbrokinase would be known as the fanciest and effective therapeutic element from the earthworms, just like curcumin from turmeric root, polyphenols from green tea, and omega-3 molecules from fish oil.
It is still unknown to consumers outside of Asia, although Lumbrokinase is clinically and well-researched with proven enzyme preparation. This may be because;
§ Most of the clinical data present on Lumbrokinase is in Chinese that is not accessible or easy to understand by the non-Chinese researchers or the clinicians.
§ Pharmaceutical grade Lumbrokinase is hard to come by; henceforth, it is expensive. Therefore, a few numbers of firms are selling Lumbrokinase and promoting it.
§ With their massive influence on the media, the major pharmaceutical companies have not found a way to profit from this enzyme.
Works have begun selecting and isolating one single enzyme from Lumbrokinase further for the eventual manufacturing and patenting of that particular enzyme through recombinant DNA technology.
Without the synergistic and balancing actions of other Lumbrokinase sub-enzymes, will a singular Lumbrokinase still be as safe and efficient as the whole Lumbrokinase enzyme group? You will get to know with time.
A trypsin-like enzyme called Lumbrokinase was effectively purified from a crude preparation of earthworm. The procedure includes dissolving of the crude powder in saline for three days, column chromatography on DEAE-cellulose anion exchange, 30%-60% ammonium sulfate gradient fractionation of the soluble fraction, and then p-amino benzamidine sepharose 6B. Various human blood cells were prepared to characterize LK activity to examine whether LK hydrolyzed fibrin directly without human blood cell damage.
The plasma proteins' degradation pattern was assessed by the lysis of protein constituents of platelet-rich plasma, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and platelets (platelets were separated by Bio-gel A-50 gel filtration) was measured by the hemolysis of erythrocytes that was assayed using a UV spectrophotometer. Anti-aggregation by adenosine diphosphate (ADP) was measured using an aggregometer to investigate whether LK causes spontaneous platelet aggregation.
Despite its proteolytic activity, it was shown that LK did not cause lysis of platelets, erythrocytes, platelet-rich plasma, or excessive protein degradation in plasma. Besides, LK did not cause spontaneous platelet aggregation too.
However, the anti-aggregation effect by ADP was not looked upon properly. Henceforth, it would be safe to suggest Lumbrokinase with proper guidance and prescription from the doctor.