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Nattokinase Health Benefits

Nattokinase Health Benefits

In the quest for optimal health, people often seek out supplements and remedies to support their well-being. One such natural compound that has gained attention for its potential health benefits is nattokinase. Derived from a traditional Japanese food called natto, nattokinase has been studied for its various health-promoting properties. From heart health to improved circulation, this enzyme has sparked interest among researchers and health enthusiasts alike.

In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits of nattokinase and how it may contribute to overall wellness.

What is Nattokinase?

Nattokinase is an enzyme extracted from natto, a fermented soybean dish that has been a staple of Japanese cuisine for centuries. Natto is made by fermenting soybeans with a bacterium called Bacillus subtilis, which produces the enzyme nattokinase as a byproduct of the fermentation process. This enzyme is known for its fibrinolytic activity, meaning it helps break down fibrin, a protein involved in blood clot formation.

Nattokinase Health Benefits

  • Supports Cardiovascular Health

One of the most well-researched benefits of nattokinase is its potential to support cardiovascular health. By breaking down fibrin, nattokinase may help prevent the formation of blood clots that can lead to conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Some studies suggest that nattokinase may help improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clot-related disorders.

  • Promotes Healthy Circulation

Improved circulation is essential for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues and organs. Nattokinase has been shown to support healthy circulation by preventing the buildup of fibrin in blood vessels, which can impede blood flow. By promoting optimal circulation, nattokinase may help reduce the risk of conditions such as peripheral artery disease and varicose veins.

  • May Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that nattokinase may help lower blood pressure by promoting vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels. By relaxing the walls of blood vessels, nattokinase may help improve blood flow and reduce the strain on the heart, potentially lowering blood pressure levels.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Nattokinase exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation throughout the body. By modulating the body’s inflammatory response, nattokinase may contribute to overall health and well-being.

  • Supports Bone Health

Some studies suggest that nattokinase may support bone health by promoting the absorption of calcium and other minerals essential for bone strength. Additionally, nattokinase’s anti-inflammatory effects may help reduce inflammation associated with conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis, potentially preserving bone density and reducing the risk of fractures.

  • May Aid in Digestion

The enzymes found in natto, including nattokinase, may aid in digestion by breaking down proteins and supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. By promoting healthy digestion and gut function, nattokinase may help alleviate symptoms of digestive disorders such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

How to Incorporate Nattokinase Into Your Routine?

Nattokinase supplements are widely available in health food stores and online retailers. When choosing a supplement, look for products that contain nattokinase derived from non-GMO soybeans and have undergone quality testing to ensure purity and potency.

It’s essential to follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. While nattokinase is generally considered safe for most people, it may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, so it’s essential to discuss its use with your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking prescription medications.

In addition to supplements, you can also incorporate natto, the traditional Japanese dish from which nattokinase is derived, into your diet. Natto can be found in some Asian grocery stores or specialty food markets and is typically enjoyed as a breakfast food or as a topping for rice or sushi.

Conclusion

Nattokinase, derived from the traditional Japanese food natto, offers a range of potential health benefits, from supporting cardiovascular health and circulation to promoting bone health and digestion. As with any supplement, it’s essential to choose high-quality products and follow recommended dosage instructions. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms of nattokinase and its effects on human health, the existing evidence suggests that it may be a valuable addition to a holistic approach to wellness. Consider incorporating nattokinase into your routine to harness its natural health-boosting properties and support your journey to optimal health and vitality.

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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