Nattokinase is a natural enzyme in natto, a Japanese food made from fermenting soy beans. The specialized enzyme is produced during natto’s fermentation process by a bacterium called Bacillus subtilis.
Consuming natto has been linked to the Japanese population’s longer than average lifespans and lower chronic disease rates. In particular, studies show that people who regularly eat natto have lower rates of death from cardiovascular diseases.
In East Asia, natto has been popular for thousands of years. Today, many grocery stores and specialty health food shops worldwide sell natto as both a food and in dietary supplement form. Research suggests that supplement intake is just as effective as consuming natto.
Lower Heart Disease Risk
Studies show that nattokinase dissolves blood clots — which helps maintain good blood vessel structure, improves blood flow, and lowers the risk of heart disease.
It can also help lower your blood pressure, reducing strain on the heart that can lead to heart attacks.
Improved Sinus Health
Chronic sinusitis is ongoing inflammation in your sinuses that could be caused by allergies, bacteria, fungal infections, or asthma.
Research shows that nattokinase can shrink blockage-causing nasal polyps and thin mucus, improving airflow.
Natto is being studied for its ability to reduce polyps related to bronchitis.
Improved Gut Health and Metabolism
Nattokinase can promote a good balance of bacteria in our gut, also known as our microbiome. Poor gut health can weaken your immune system and increases your risk of many chronic diseases, like diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease.
Nattokinase’s probiotic properties may also boost metabolism and reduce body fat, regulating and potentially preventing metabolic disorders like obesity and diabetes.
Japanese scientists have found that natto can also shield against liver damage from poisons in rats. This indicates that natto could also promote liver health.