Nattokinase is an extract of natto, a soybean fermented product. It is gotten from cooked soybeans that were added bacteria for fermentation. In 1987, it was extracted and discovered from natto when it was found out to dissolve artificial fibrin. The anti-clotting activity of nattokinase is higher than most other enzymes. It makes it a promising aspect of research for heart disease patients. This enzyme can also be taken orally or in the form of a dietary supplement. Nattokinase benefits have been studied extensively in China, Korea, and Japan. However, the clot-dissolving ability of this enzyme was only recently discovered.
Nattokinase is often mistaken to be a kinase enzyme because of its name, but it is a part of the protease serine family which breaks down proteins. Cell studies discovered that nattokinase dissolves blood clot-forming fibrin cross-linked directly. It increases the release of tissue plasminogen that breaks fibrin down. It increases the level of urokinase by producing urokinase from internal urokinase. Increased activity of urokinase will cause increased blood plasmin, and plasmin acts to degrade fibrin. It inactivates PAI-1 a plasminogen activator inhibitor that inhibits the formation of plasmin, which degrades fibrin. It inhibits the aggregation of platelets by blocking the formation of thromboxane. Thromboxane is a substance released from a plate that leads to constriction of the blood vessels and blood clotting.
Possible Nattokinase Benefits
Nattokinase supplements, just like other supplements, are not yet approved for use by the FDA. Generally, supplements do not have solid research. There is a regulation that sets standards of manufacturing for them but does not guarantee its effectiveness or safety. Consult a doctor before using them.
Here are some ways nattokinase may be effective:
Two clinical trials were conducted, one has eighty-two subjects while the other seventy-nine participants with instead blood pressure. A group received a daily nattokinase dose for eight weeks and experienced decreased blood pressure (diastolic and systolic) compared to the placebo group.
A study found this reduction was more significant among the male participants. Nattokinase inhibits the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, this enzyme causes blood vessels narrowing. If this enzyme is inhibited it may cause reduced blood pressure.
Prevents blood clot
There are speculations that nattokinase will benefit thrombosis patients. Thrombosis describes when clots are formed in the blood vessel.
Open-label clinical research had forty-five participants divided into three groups and they received daily doses of nattokinase for two months. There was a healthy group, dialysis patients, and heart disease risk patients. The study discovered that the participants experienced a significant reduction of risk factors such as factor VIII, factor VII, and fibrinogen.
A study of twelve adult healthy males who took single nattokinase reported created coagulation factor level and degraded fibrin which was used in forming blood clothes. The effects were as long as eight hours.
However note that there is still insufficient evidence on these potential nattokinase benefits, more research needs to be conducted.
This study compared statins, drugs that lower cholesterol with nattokinase. It divided eighty-two patients randomly into either treatment for twenty-six weeks. Both of these treatments decreased triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol. However, it was only the consumption of nattokinase that increased HDL There were no reports of significant reduction from other studies. There is a need for more research on this subject matter.
Hardening of arteries
Daily supplementation of nattokinase was noticeably reduced with plaque size better about 36.6% that causes artery hardening compared to treatment with a statin. The mechanism of action in decreasing plaque size and reducing cholesterol levels results in artery hardening prevention.
High level of von Willebrand Factor, a substance that increases clot formation risk has been linked with stroke risks. A study conducted on seventy-nine hypertensive patients reduced by fifteen percent in the nattokinase group compared to those who took a placebo.
However, levels of vWF in males who took the supplement did not decrease. This suggests a probable gender-specific function of nattokinase when it comes to reducing levels of vWF.
Rat studies showed that nattokinase helped in controlling factors characterizing Alzheimer’s disease. Some factors found to be elevated in Alzheimer’s lowered upon consumption of oral nattokinase.
Meanwhile, those that are often low increased upon nattokinase treatment compared to rats untreated of their Alzheimer’s disease. This means nattokinase may indeed be good therapy for Alzheimer’s treatment. It also degrades fibrils of amyloid in cells; these are proteins that commonly aggregate in Alzheimer’s disease.
Nattokinase efficiency causes the degradation of glued in parts in cells. Gliadin is a gluten component. This means nattokinase may be a potential treatment for gliadin intolerance called celiac disease.
Caveats and Limitations
Many nattokinase benefits were studied both in animals of cells. Though some of the findings proved significant they may not be readily applied to humans. That means there is a need for more human studies.
Generally, nattokinase is safe when consumed as food. This is because of no reported harm it’s side effects during the clinical trials on humans. And also the fact that the Japanese had it in their diet for many years.
To establish it’s safety fully, more human-based research is needed on nattokinase benefits.
This will help avoid unexpected interactions and diverse events. The best time to take nattokinase is in the morning before eating on an empty stomach. Why take nattokinase on an empty stomach? It works best then.
And don’t forget to speak with your doctor before using even the best nattokinase supplement. This will ensure that you get the top nattokinase benefits and no side effects.