Nattokinase is an enzyme derived from natto, a traditional Japanese soybean dish. It is made by boiling or steaming soybeans and then fermenting them. The process yields a dish that Westerners don’t find particularly appealing. Taste aside, natto is probably one of the world’s healthiest foods and certainly deserves a place within any good cardiovascular nutrition program.
Nattokinase helps address one of the most overlooked problems in the development of coronary artery disease: hyperviscosity, which refers to thick and sticky blood that moves slowly through the circulatory system. Hyperviscosity feeds the inflammatory process that damages arteries. Sluggish blood flow also makes it difficult to prevent blood clots from forming.
It reinforces the actions of plasmin, your body’s own enzyme that breaks down the body’s clotting agent called fibrin, thereby preventing abnormal thickening of the blood.
Because of its clot-busting and blood-thinning properties, nattokinase is used to treat coronary artery disease and prevent heart attack, stroke and even hypertension.
Caution: You should not take nattokinase if you’re taking the blood-thinning drug Coumadin because the combination may result in your having too little fibrin to form any clots at all, putting you at risk for bleeding events.