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Nattokinase For Smooth Blood Flow and Blood Pressure


Lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, and reducing arterial plaque are some ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Good nutrition can also help improve cardiovascular function. Natto is a food that has been linked to longevity. Made from fermented soybeans, it contains nattokinase, an enzyme studied for its cardio preventative benefits [“Nattokinase: A Promising Alternative in Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases.” ]. 


Benefits of Nattokinase on Cardiovascular Health

May Prevent Blood Clots

Certain proteins will bind together and form blood clots in the arteries. Blockages in the arteries leading to the brain will result in a stroke.   Nattokinase can activate substances that break down blood clots.   Consumption of 100 mg per kg of body weight natto bacillus was shown to increase the activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a protein involved in dissolving blood clots

Stroke risk can be measured by blood clotting proteins. Proteins fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII associated with stroke were found to be reduced after taking two capsules of nattokinase (2000 units per capsule) daily for two months.

What is the role of tPA in the process of blood clot dissolution?

tPA activates plasminogen and converts it to its active form plasmin, which then dissolves the fibrin meshwork of blood clots.

How does Nattokinase increase the activation of tissue plasminogen activator(tPA)?

Nattokinase activates tPA and intensifies blood clot dissolution.

Consumption of 100 mg per kg of body weight natto bacillus was shown to increase the activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a protein involved in dissolving blood clots. tPA, in its natural state, activates plasminogen, converting it into plasmin, which effectively breaks down the fibrin meshwork that forms blood clots. In the case of nattokinase, it not only activates tPA but also intensifies the process of blood clot dissolution. By enhancing the activity of tPA, nattokinase potentially promotes more efficient breakdown of blood clots, further aiding in their dissolution.

How does nattokinase dissolve blood clots?

Nattokinase, a potent enzyme derived from natto bacillus, has been found to possess remarkable capabilities in dissolving blood clots. Research has shown that the consumption of 100 mg per kg of body weight natto bacillus can activate tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a vital protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots. This activation of tPA facilitates the fibrinolysis process, aiding in the dissolution of clots.

Furthermore, a study conducted over a two-month period revealed additional promising results. Participants who ingested two capsules of nattokinase daily, each containing 2000 units, experienced a reduction in certain blood clotting proteins associated with stroke. Notably, proteins such as fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII demonstrated decreased levels after the nattokinase supplementation regimen.

While the precise mechanisms by which nattokinase exerts its clot-dissolving effects are not elaborated upon in this particular excerpt, it is important to acknowledge that nattokinase operates through intricate processes. It is believed that this enzyme functions by enhancing the conversion of prourokinase to urokinase, which in turn activates plasminogen, leading to the breakdown of fibrin. Additionally, nattokinase is thought to directly dissolve fibrin by cleaving it into smaller molecules, intensifying the fibrinolysis process.

Although the details regarding the exact mechanisms of nattokinase's action are not provided in this passage, it is evident that this enzyme holds significant potential in promoting the dissolution of blood clots. Further research and exploration of nattokinase's effects on fibrinolysis are warranted to fully comprehend its role in preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases associated with clot formation.

How does Nattokinase have an anti-platelet effect?

Nattokinase demonstrates its anti-platelet effect by effectively preventing the aggregation of platelets, which plays a crucial role in the formation of blood clots. This natural enzyme has the ability to inhibit the clumping together of platelets, thus inhibiting the formation of potentially harmful blood clots. Moreover, nattokinase has been observed to have an additional effect on red blood cells, reducing their aggregation and effectively lowering blood viscosity. By reducing platelet aggregation and lowering blood viscosity, nattokinase helps maintain healthy blood flow and may contribute to a reduced risk of clot formation.

How does nattokinase increase the conversion of prourokinase to urokinase?

Nattokinase enhances the conversion of prourokinase to urokinase by promoting the activation of plasminogen to plasmin. In the human body, urokinase is a naturally occurring enzyme that converts plasminogen, which is an inactive precursor, into its active form called plasmin. Plasmin is responsible for breaking down fibrin, a protein involved in blood clot formation. By increasing the conversion of prourokinase to urokinase, nattokinase effectively supports the process of plasmin activation and, in turn, enhances the dissolution of fibrin.

May Lower Blood Pressure

Nattokinase has also been found to lower blood pressure (BP) in those with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension.   Systolic and diastolic BP went down about 13 points and 5.7 points after taking 2,000 fibrinolysis units (FU) of nattokinase daily for 8 weeks when compared with a placebo [ ].

May Lower Cholesterol and Suppress Atherosclerosis 

Cholesterol and plaque build up can lead to heart disease. Nattokinase can help keep these levels in check and may also reduce the size of plaque in arteries.   A study involving people with high cholesterol levels showed a drop in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides when given 6500 units of nattokinase for 26 weeks [6].   Nattokinase was shown to reduce plaque better than a statin. Taking 6,000 FU nattokinase over 26 weeks reduced carotid plaque size by 36.6% compared with only 11.5% in those given 20 mg of simvastatin []. 

How does Nattokinase have an anti-atherosclerotic effect?

Nattokinase exerts its anti-atherosclerotic effect through multiple mechanisms. Firstly, studies have demonstrated that nattokinase possesses the ability to reduce the size of atherosclerotic plaque, which is a key characteristic of this cardiovascular condition. By reducing plaque size, nattokinase aids in preventing the hardening and narrowing of arteries, thereby improving blood flow and reducing the risk of potentially serious complications.
Furthermore, nattokinase has been found to exhibit a greater efficacy in reducing atherosclerosis compared to statin therapy, which is recognized as a potent class of lipid-lowering drugs. This suggests that nattokinase may have additional beneficial effects beyond its ability to regulate lipid levels.
It is important to note that the exact mechanisms by which nattokinase exerts its anti-atherosclerotic effects are not fully understood. However, its ability to reduce the area of atherosclerotic plaque and surpass the efficacy of statin therapy indicates that it may influence multiple underlying factors involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Further research is needed to fully elucidate the specific pathways through which nattokinase operates and to determine its potential as a therapeutic option for managing atherosclerosis.

May Improve Brain Health

Heart health is also important for good brain health. Lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain can result in cognitive decline and brain disease.   Nattokinase can protect the brain by improving blood flow. It also prevents platelet clumping and blood clotting which can lead to stroke    Amyloid fibrils are associated with diseases of the brain. Nattokinase was shown to destroy these proteins when studied in rats

What is the neuroprotective effect of nattokinase?

Nattokinase has been found to possess a neuroprotective effect, as observed in various experimental conditions. One prominent attribute is its ability to degrade amyloid fibrils, a specific type of protein that accumulates in the brains of individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease. This degradation process is significant because amyloid fibrils contribute to the progression of the disease. Additionally, nattokinase has shown promise in limiting the extent of damage caused by acute stroke, thus preserving the surrounding brain tissue. These findings suggest that nattokinase has the potential to safeguard and support brain health in various neurological conditions.


Dosage Recommendations

There is no optimal dosage recommended for nattokinase due to limited research. Studies have shown to use up to 5000 fibrinolysis units (FU) a day  taken with meals []. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s directions.   Before starting Nattokinase especially if you have certain medical conditions and are on any medications it is suggested you discuss with your medical professional. Those with soy allergies/sensitivities and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid this product. 



 If there are any restrictions and changes in oxygen and blood flow this can be potentially dangerous and may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and/or blood clots. Nattokinase has been found to have a positive effect on heart health and as a blood thinner. Using Nattokinase you can expect smoother blood flow, reduction in blood clot formation, greater oxygen delivery, and healthier maintenance of blood pressure. 

Jeanette Kimszal is a Registered Dietitian and health writer with a passion for creating evidence-based content to engage and help readers. In her spare time, she runs a website educating health professionals on thyroid nutrition as well as a blog offering nutrition tips and recipes for stress relief to busy women. When she is not writing, you can find her hanging out at the beach or checking out live music down at the Jersey shore. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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