Nattokinase – What are the Health Benefits?
Have you ever heard of a traditional Japanese dish called Nattō?
Natto is made from boiled soybeans that have been fermented by adding specific bacterium Bacillus subtillis. Natto is incredibly nutritious and is associated with many health benefits including gut health, heart health and strengthening the immune system.
Consumed for thousands of years in Japan it has a strong flavour which many describe as nutty, along with a distinctive/powerful smell, and stringy/ sticky texture. Natto is often served as a breakfast food typically topped with soy sauce, mustard or chives and eaten with rice. Whilst a popular delicacy in Japan it is often considered an acquired taste for many.
Natto fermentation produces Nattokinase, a type of enzyme. This enzyme has been extensively studied in Japan, Korea, and China, and is now being recognised in Western medicine for its cardiovascular benefits and is becoming an increasingly popular health supplement.
Both animal and human trials have demonstrated that Nattokinase exhibits potent fibrinolytic/antithrombotic effects. It supports the circulatory system by thinning the blood and dissolving blood clots to improve blood flow. Studies also indicate that Nattokinase can ameliorate other diseases such as stroke and artherosclerosis. 
Nattokinase has also been the subject of studies into its neuroprotective effects and potential benefits in the treatment of alzheimers .
As with any new supplement it is important to discuss with a doctor before adding it into your diet. Nattokinase should be avoided if you have a coagulation disorder or are currently taking any blood thinning medication.
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