Cardiovascular risk factors are on the rise, and patients with lifestyle diseases such as hypertension and metabolic disorders are particularly susceptible to adverse medical events related to the body's blood vessels, including heart attacks and harmful blood clotting. Nattokinase can help combat those risk factors by preventing intimal thickening, reducing the likelihood of blood clotting, and generally smoothing the blood's pathway through the body's blood vessels.

How exactly is this accomplished? 

Vegetable cheese natto, also simply called "natto," is a fermented food that possesses a unique enzyme that can lower blood pressure to normal levels and support cardiovascular health and CVD risk recovery. By thinning blood and encouraging optimal blood flow, nattokinase can reduce the onset of lifestyle-related diseases and promote general health and longevity. 

What are the Effects of Nattokinase on Blood Pressure?

Nattokinase supplements may help prevent and treat hypertension, according to a study published in Nature. During the course of the study, researchers determined that nattokinase was able to reduce both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, both immediately after consumption and for longer periods with consistent use.

Another study corroborated those findings, using the utmost in study design standards, including randomizing the samples and delivering double-blind, placebo-controlled implementation. This study also determined that there were sex-specific changes, as men who consumed nattokinase experienced a more substantial reduction in systolic blood pressure levels than women who consumed the same amount. 

As these studies (and more) can attest, nattokinase has conclusively been identified as a valuable supplement for blood pressure intervention. From diastolic blood pressure to systolic blood pressure and the cardiovascular diseases that can arise from unsuccessfully regulated blood pressure, nattokinase consumption is associated with beneficial changes to blood pressure levels in hypertensive Americans. 

One of the most substantial components working in nattokinase's favor is its origin: nattokinase was not created from a cocktail of synthetic substances, but is a natural and safe way to reduce blood pressure. Reducing blood pressure using a natural supplement, rather than a series of medications can make it easier to avoid the risk factors associated with many medications and prevent the adverse effects these medications can sometimes have. 

What is nattokinase?

Nattokinase is the name given to the protein developed from the Japanese food natto. Natto is considered a staple in Japanese diets, and is made by fermenting soybeans that have been boiled. While natto is common enough in Japan, it may be more difficult to locate in the West, leading to the manufacturing process of putting together nattokinase capsules and other forms of dietary supplements in order to reap the benefits this superfood has to offer. 

The enzymes within nattokinase are the driving force behind the food's status as a powerful hypertension intervention, as they are the components said to have the most powerful effect on blood cell aggregation and blood viscosity--both of which can positively impact an individual's elevated blood pressure levels. 

In traditional Japanese preparation, nattokinase is a component of natto. In the West, where nattokinase is increasingly being recognized as an important tool in the arsenal of the American Heart Association and other agencies focused on cardiovascular health, nattokinase is specifically designed and developed to improve CV health and function as an isolated protein.  

How does nattokinase reduce blood pressure?

Understanding why clinical studies have determined that nattokinase is an effective blood pressure reducer is vital, as it allows medical professionals and hypertensive individuals alike to understand the changes being wrought in their bodies. Nattokinase functions effectively as a blood pressure reducer because it maintains healthy levels of the protein fibrinogen within blood. When fibrinogen builds up in the blood, it can lead to blood clots and damaged arteries. 


Nattokinase prevents excess fibrin and fibrinogen from building up in the body, which reduces the likelihood of developing blood clots and reduces blood viscosity. Nattokinase reinforces plasminogen, the body's existing anti-clotting enzyme, to effectively break down fibrinogen and prevent blood thickening. While this has a direct effect on blood viscosity, it also has an indirect effect on general arterial and blood vessel health; when blood flows smoothly and easily through vessels, it does not contribute to the buildup of arterial plaque and effectively functions as a transportation system. 

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What are the other benefits of consuming nattokinase?

While the changes to blood pressure are substantial, there are other benefits to the oral administration of nattokinase. These benefits include all of the following: 

Improved heart health. Heart disease is a considerable source of strife for the West, as it is one of the leading causes of death. Nattokinase helps improve cardiovascular health by supporting healthy blood flow and contributing to reduced blood pressure. 

Reduced risk of stroke. An unexpected health benefit of nattokinase consumption is the anti-stroke activity of nattokinase. A stroke occurs when a blood clot reaches a pivotal point in the body, and momentarily stops adequate blood flow. Strokes can lead to long-term damage to the brain and extremities, and may be more effectively avoided when this component of this popular soybean food is consumed on a regular basis. 

Improved sinus health. The thinning effect nattokinase has on blood can actually be used in other applications, including mucus in the body. While most previous studies have evaluated the uses of nattokinase by health care professionals to reduce heart disease risk, evidence has emerged to suggest that nattokinase can also help reduce inflammation and thin mucus in the sinuses, leading to decreases in chronic sinus inflammation and general sinus-based malaise. 

Improved metabolic and gut health. Nattokinase is thought to have a supportive effect on the immune system, which is housed in your gut. By promoting the health and vitality of the immune system in the gut, nattokinase can positively impact your general gut health and general health. It has also been linked to reductions in metabolic disorder risk in unhealthy and healthy adults, making this pro-fibrinolytic enzyme a veritable workhorse for general health.  

Nattokinase ideal dosage for lowering blood pressure

Dietary supplementation can be difficult to nail down, in terms of appropriate or ideal dosage, because supplements do not follow the same guidelines as lab-developed medications and pharmaceutical interventions. It is thought that the ideal dosage of nattokinase ranges from 100 to 200 mg per day. This number was arrived upon in studies evaluating nattokinase's antihypertensive effects and the effect of fibrinolytic activity on heart health and thrombosis development.

What is the best time to take nattokinase?

Although dietary supplementation does not usually have the same hard and fast rules that pharmaceutical medications do, it has been suggested that the fibrinolytic activity of nattokinase is best activated in the evening or at night, thereby suggesting either after dinner or just before sleep as the best possible time to supplement. 

The precise reason for this suggestion is unknown, but could be due to the fibrinolytic effects of nattokinase. Fibrinolytic activity thins blood, reduces the likelihood of clotting, and reduces the development of arterial plaque. When your body is inactive, these processes may be able to take hold more easily, and any possible side effects such as changes to blood pressure  and other means of reducing cardiovascular risk markers will be experienced while in a restful state, versus being experienced while upright or attempting to complete a task. 

Potential health risks 

Fibrinolytic enzymes in nattokinase are so highly valued in part because they are generally safe and possess few side effects--a significant change from many pharmaceutical blood pressure reducers. That being said, oral nattokinase does not come entirely without risk, because it causes significant changes to blood pressure levels. People with low blood pressure can experience harmful changes to blood pressure if taking this medication. 

Bacillus subtilis natto can also interact with existing drugs and medications, even in individuals with normal blood flow and unrestricted blood vessels, making it vital to discuss the inclusion of nattokinase in your supplement routine with your healthcare practitioner. A discussion of lifestyle factors and medications should be evaluated with your doctor prior to taking any nattokinase supplement. 

Health risks can also arise with individuals who are taking blood thinners or have blood thinning disorders. Taking nattokinase while on these medications or with these conditions can lead to dangerous changes to blood viscosity. Your health provider may wish to test for these disorders prior to prescribing or encouraging a nattokinase regimen. 


Natto intake is considered a healthy option for most people, in order to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, improve arterial blood pressure levels, reduce the likelihood of harmful blood clotting, and support general health and wellness. Patients with lifestyle diseases such as metabolic disorders, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease may all experience relief from standard everyday symptoms, and prevent more serious complications of these conditions, such as cerebral microbleeds. The benefits of nattokinase are vast, and come from a seemingly simple natural product discovered by Japanese adults isolating a valuable component developed during the natto fermentation process. 

Although pharmaceutical interventions do have their place, vegetable cheese natto has provided asian populations with a natural, beneficial health food that can encourage the health of all major blood vessels, including the femoral artery, prevent intimal thickening, and dramatically reduce the possibility of dangerous blood clotting. A simple food product may not initially seem to be a highly valuable item, but human cells react powerfully to nattokinase, and the efficacy of nattokinase in supporting cardiovascular health and aiding the hypertensive population cannot be ignored.  

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