October 17, 2022 5 min read
It is no secret that the Japanese are often healthier and tend to live longer than the average populations in Western developed nations.
The country has consistently ranked among the top healthiest countries in the world. Moreover, the country enjoys one of the lowest mortality rates in the entire globe. How do the Japanese achieve this feat, while the health of populations in other nations is in a perpetual nose dive?
The answer to this question lies in the average Japanese lifestyle, a big part of which is the traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese. Numerous scientific studies have linked the standard Japanese diet to longer lifespans and lower chronic disease prevalence.
What’s interesting about this Japanese diet is that it’s extremely rich in natto dishes. Natto is a soy-based food made by fermenting soy beans. The dish has a stringy, slimy feel and look, and most non-Japanese people who have tried the dish describe it as having a foie gras or cottage cheese taste.
The consumption of natto has been linked to a variety of impressive health benefits, including better heart health and lower rates of death from heart diseases. Regularly eating natto can also be used to better manage high blood pressure, varicose veins, atherosclerosis, and to improve blood circulation in your body.
The main component in natto responsible for its health boosting effects is the enzyme nattokinase.
This enzyme is what gives natto its cheese-like taste. You can only find this powerful enzyme in natto, and not in any other soy foods. This is because the enzyme is only produced as a result of the specific fermentation process required to turn soy beans into natto.
You can also buy nattokinase as a supplement in the form of capsules, tablets, and even in powdered form.
Experts attribute nattokinase’s impressive impact on health to its ability to reduce the clotting of your blood. As a result, your blood becomes thinner, preventing the numerous diseases that are caused by blood clots, including stroke, and atherosclerosis among others.
Let’s dig deeper into the major benefits associated with nattokinase below:
Owing to its ability to dissolve blood clots, nattokinase helps your body maintain healthy blood vessel structures. The result is better blood flow, which then lowers the risk of heart problems.
Moreover, nattokinase has been shown to lower blood pressure in test subjects, which can help prevent, or reduce the risk of heart attacks.
Not only is this enzyme effective at preventing heart diseases, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases.
One study found that increased levels of nattokinase in the body contributed to decreased death rates amongst subjects, including those who suffered from cardiovascular diseases. Death associated with heart disease was higher amongst subjects with lower dietary intake of nattokinase during the study period.
Nattokinase has been shown to break down the biofilms created by bacteria and yeast like Candida albicans.
Pathogens create these biofilms to protect themselves from your immune system. Nattokinase disassembles the fibers inside the biofilm matrix, breaking them down and allowing your immune system to access to the pathogens.
Nattokinase also shows great potential in boosting the respiratory health of individuals suffering from chronic sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Researchers have found that the enzyme is able to shrink nasal polyps in patients with chronic sinusitis. It can also thin out the excess mucus and sputum produced in individuals with sinusitis and other respiratory issues, such as asthma. The effect is better airflow, leading to better quality of life and fewer symptoms for the individuals.
Oral intake of nattokinase has also been shown to prevent the formation of clots that contribute to the development of deep vein thrombosis.
A 2015 study found that a single 100 mg dose of nattokinase taken orally breaks down the main protein involved in blood clotting, fibrin, much more effectively than the placebo selected for the study. Moreover, the study found that because of its blood thinning properties, nattokinase was able to significantly reduce the levels of factor III, a blood-clotting protein.
By being able to break down and reduce levels of blood clotting proteins, nattokinase can be considered a protective agent against deep vein thrombosis, a disease characterized by the formation of blood clots within deep veins.
Nattokinase can also help people live longer lives, even when this effect is adjusted for demographic, dietary, and lifestyle factors.
Nattokinase has also been shown to improve the lifespan of worms in studies, and to make these creatures more resistant to thermal and oxidative stress. The researchers conclude that the same results could potentially apply to human lifespans.
Research has also indicated that nattokinase can potentially protect against atherosclerosis, and also reduce the amount of arterial plaque in individuals already suffering from the condition.
In a study involving 76 individuals suffering from atherosclerosis, Chinese researchers found that a 150mg daily dose of nattokinase reduced the arterial plaque of subjects given the dose by nearly 37% over the course of a 26 week period.
At the same time, the subjects that were given daily 20mg doses of simvastatin, a treatment used to lower cholesterol, only experienced an 11.5% drop in arterial plaque over the 26 week test period.
In this same study, the researchers discovered that nattokinase led to an increase in HDL cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol. Simvastatin did not have a similar effect on cholesterol levels.
This goes to show that nattokinase can be a more effective treatment in the management of atherosclerosis than the pharmaceutical drugs currently available in the market.
The enzyme has also been shown to have possible anti-aging effects. One study found that nattokinase extracts helped delay the accumulation of the aging pigment, lipofuscin. This is an indication that the presence of the enzyme can help slow down the aging process in people.
There is also some evidence that suggests nattokinase can protect brain health in individuals who have suffered from an ischemic stroke.
This study found that injecting nattokinase can boost blood flow to the brain of subjects who have suffered an ischemic stroke. As a result, the patients may experience less brain tissue damage after a stroke.
Nattokinase is generally considered safe to take as a supplement, or in dietary form by consuming natto on a regular basis.
However, intake of the enzyme may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and antihypertensive medication. Consult with your physician before taking nattokinase in supplement form if you are currently using these or other types of medications.
Moreover, people with bleeding disorders such as haemophilia, and those with low blood pressure should use nattokinase products cautiously. The enzyme may make bleeding worse, flare up symptoms, trigger hypotension, and cause bruising in these categories of people.
People with low blood pressure might also experience dizziness, light headedness, and headaches when they use nattokinase.
Nattokinase is also not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women. It should also not be used in children.
It is also advisable to stop taking nattokinase at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery, to prevent the risk of excessive bleeding during and post-surgery.
Experts recommend taking nattokinase supplements on an empty stomach. This will aid the absorption of the enzyme into your system, increasing its impact on your health. Nattokinase supplements are available as either tablets or capsules.
You might also consider introducing natto into your diet as this has the added benefit of probiotic bacteria which aids in improving gut health.
Our SerraDefend formula contains a blend of systemic and digestive enzymes
The enzymes in SerraDefend include Serrapeptase, Nattokinase, Protease, Cellulase, Hemicellulase, Chitosanase, Amylase, Glucoamylase,and Beta-Glucanase.
This blend of systemic and digestive enzymes has been designed to fight biofilms, reduce inflammation, and promote good digestive health.
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