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Doctor, Speaker, Educator, Consultant


Doctor, Speaker, Educator, Consultant

Natto: The Japanese Superfood You Never Heard Of

A friend of mine just had surgery and goes to physical therapy every week. Her therapist remarked about how great her scar looked. My friend said, “Maybe my daily nattokinase has something to do with it,” to which the therapist replied, “What’s nattokinase?”

In my experience, very few people have heard of nattokinase, an enzyme that comes from the food natto, made from boiled soybeans that have been fermented with a specific bacteria, Bacillus subtilis var. natto. Natto is considered a new and exciting superfood in the US but in Japan, natto has been a foundational part of their diet for centuries, and many varieties of natto are sold in Japanese grocery stores. In Japan, natto is part of breakfast, alongside pickled vegetables, miso soup and rice.
The enzyme nattokinase provides powerful support normal blood flow, circulation, and blood pressure levels. In fact, people take nattokinase for cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and stroke. This might protect against heart disease and conditions caused by blood clots, like stroke and heart attack. Nattokinase may thin the blood and help break up blood clots.

Maintaining healthy blood circulation and balanced coagulation is a key part of supporting cardiovascular health. The body produces enzymes – one is plasmin – that are fibrinolytic, meaning they break up extra proteins in the blood to ensure proper blood flow. Like many processes in the body, the production of these enzymes decreases with age, which can result in increased fibrin levels. Studies show that nattokinase triggers the release of substances that produce plasmin and other fibrinolytic enzymes to regulate fibrin formation.
It is estimated that one in four Americans has high blood pressure. Nattokinase inhibits a key enzyme which causes arterial dilation, and the dilated arteries help maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Nattokinase also can generate tissue plasminogen activators helping to promote blood flow. My private label product is designed to have lasting effects for more than 12 hours and is safe for long-term use.
Nattokinase has also been shown to be degrade the spike protein associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 has a spike protein (S protein), and cleavage of the S protein is essential for viral entry into the cell. Studies like this one show that nattokinase degraded the S protein, thus showing its potential to inhibit the spike protein.

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