Nattokinase (nat-oh-KAI-nase) is an enzyme that results from the fermentation process of soybeans. In Japanese culture, fermented soybean is a popular dish known as nattō. For thousands of years the Japanese people have been said to eat nattō and benefited from the enzyme nattokinase, which may include support for:
- Clotting factors
- Heart heart
- Blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Brain health
Let’s take a look at how nattokinase supports the body, and why you should consider adding a nattokinase supplement to your daily health regimen.
Potential Health Benefits of Nattokinase
The primary mechanism of action tied to nattokinase is its fibrinolytic activity, which is a medical term that means “anti-fibrinolysis.” Simply put, nattokinase works to break down fibers that form blood clots in the bloodstream. It may also help to regulate fibrin and fibrinogen that are responsible for closing wounds and helping with the repair of tissue but may not properly dissolve and can result in scar tissue.
Many clinical drugs achieve these same results, but research has looked at the potential use of nattokinase may provide additional support throughout your life.
Nattokinase has been found to both degrade fibrin and also help to regulate factors that regulate fibrinolytic activity. Researchers note that conventional therapies and medication designed to accomplish the same task have a greater risk of excessively degrading beneficial fibrin and could result in excess bleeding. By better understanding how nattokinase regulates clotting in the body, researchers hope to learn how they can adapt nattokinase into therapies that help to regulate good and bad fibrin without as many adverse effects.
Studies have found that nattokinase helps to modulate how cholesterol builds up inside of arteries. In animal and human studies, nattokinase was found to decrease “bad” cholesterol levels and also helped to shrink plaque buildup along arterial walls. However, dosing requirements and duration needed for these results are not well understood.
The potential support for blood pressure levels stems from how nattokinase may benefit cholesterol levels and clotting factors. By regulating how cholesterol and fibrin form throughout the cardiovascular system, blood flow may be less restricted, lowering blood pressure levels and taking stress off the heart. These results are dependent on the positive effects of nattokinase on cholesterol and clotting factors, so individual results will vary.
Nattokinase has been suggested for helping to regulate the amyloid fibrils in the body, which have been linked to conditions such as cognitive degeneration, heart health, and more. Nattokinase has also been found to provide neuroprotective effects by supporting blood flow through the brain, oxygen delivery to cells, and a healthy inflammation response in the immune system.
The best way to truly enjoy nattokinase is by making it yourself. Of course, natto is not a simple recipe and may not be for everyone’s tastes. That’s why nattokinase supplements are ideal. Not only are they easy to add to your daily regimen, but many companies have figured out how to isolate and concentrate the nattokinase enzyme for optimal bioavailability and potential medicinal benefit.
What nattokinase supplement is right for you? Let’s take a brief look at two options.
Nattoxym Systemic Enzyme from U.S. Enzymes contains a pure source of nattokinase that also includes catalase, and a EnzymEnergized mineral blend for optimal bioavailability. U.S. Enzymes may be one of your best options because the brand specializes in Japanese enzyme formulas. Owing to the fact that the Japanese are credited with inventing fermentation, sourcing enzymes and knowledge from that region of the world helps to give the Nattozyme Systemic Enzyme formula and U.S. Enzyme brand a distinct edge over comparable brands and products.
Nattokinase with Vitamin PQQ from Cardiovascular Research is a more budget-friendly option while still offering the potential medicinal benefits of nattokinase. The Cardiovascular Research brand specializes in everything related to the heart, helping to give you confidence that every formula is working to support one of the most important parts of your body.
Warning About Nattokinase
It is important to discuss the use of supplements as a form of supportive therapy with your doctor. Nattokinase has been found to have a similar to anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, meaning it could cause increased bleeding that is more difficult to stop.
Currently, research is lacking on the long term risks and benefits associated with using a nattokinase supplement. If changes to your health occur while using nattokinase, stop its use immediately and consult with your primary care physician.
If you do use nattokinase, make sure to follow the directions provided by your physician or what’s printed on the bottle. Also, remember only to shop trusted brands like Cardiovascular Research or U.S. Enzymes to ensure you’re providing your body the highest quality ingredients possible.