As you probably know nattokinase is an enzyme extracted from natto soybeans with potent fibrinolytic (anti-clotting) qualities. That research shows nattokinase supplements support healthy circulation and blood flow, while gently lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol. But, how exactly does nattokinase provide these benefits for heart health? Read on for more advanced insights into the science behind nattokinase and cutting-edge findings on its cardiovascular protective effects.
Nattokinase’s mechanisms of action
Nattokinase contains a specific serine protease similar functionally to plasmin, the body’s primary fibrinolytic enzyme. It breaks down fibrinogen strands in the bloodstream into smaller protein fragments. This fibrinolytic action gives nattokinase unique abilities.
- Dissolve excess fibrin – Fibrin makes up the structural foundation of dangerous blood clots that block arteries or break loose and cause heart attack or stroke. By dissolving excess fibrin, nattokinase prevents thrombosis.
- Inhibit platelet aggregation – Sticky platelets facilitate fibrin and clots forming in blood vessels. Studies show nattokinase reduces platelet aggregation by up to 73%, further reducing clotting risk.
- Degrade atherosclerotic plaque – Fibrin also accumulates pathologically along artery walls in atherosclerosis. As an enzyme, nattokinase breaks up this arterial plaque buildup.
- Activate tissue plasminogen – Nattokinase serves as a natural activator of our endogenous plasminogen system, which keeps circulation healthy long-term via regulated fibrinolysis.
Advanced research findings on heart health protection
- Prevents blood clots without bleeding risk – Unlike antiplatelet drugs that deplete clotting factors, nattokinase more closely resembles the natural dissolution of clots by plasmin present in the body. For this reason, studies show taking nattokinase alone or with medications like aspirin does not increase bleeding adverse effects. This gives it a superior safety profile.
- Lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure – While many supplements reduce only systolic blood pressure (the higher number), nattokinase reduces diastolic BP values according to multiple human trials. Keeping this lower number in check better supports constant healthy blood flow between heartbeats.
- Detoxifies amyloid deposits – Misfolded amyloid proteins trigger oxidative damage contributing to many cardiovascular diseases. As another protective mechanism, nattokinase breaks down amyloid fibrils into less toxic fragments to maintain organ function.
- Prevents intimal hyperplasia – Excessive smooth muscle and collagen proliferation inside artery walls after injury causes recurrent narrowing or restenosis. Multiple animal studies show consistent nattokinase intake inhibits this intimal hyperplasia to maintain open vessels.
- Slows formation of foam cells – Early in atherosclerosis, engorged foam cells filled with lipids appear underneath vessel linings. But by lowering cholesterol and oxidized lipids, nattokinase reduces plaque-promoting foam cell formation by over 42% per trial.
Safe with other cardiac medications
Unlike some herbal supplements, clinical drug interaction studies further show combining nattokinase with common heart medications like statins, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers remains safe with no increased side effects. As you see, nattokinase supplement provides multi-angled protection for all aspects of cardiovascular wellness from blood pressure to endothelial health to atherosclerosis and clotting risk. These broad benefits result from its specialized fibrinolytic action and other downstream mechanisms science continues uncovering. Ongoing advances allow experts to identify those who may benefit most from adding supplementary nattokinase.
- Patients currently on anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications
- Individuals with a history of embolism, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary thrombosis
- Anyone with atherosclerotic disease markers like endothelial dysfunction
- Those with elevated CVD risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, or high cholesterol
- Seniors want to preserve healthy circulation as they age
Harnessing nattokinase’s full cardiovascular benefits starts by simply making this safe, well-researched enzyme part of your daily health regimen.