How does nattokinase support healthy blood pressure already in the normal range?

Natto has been consumed in Japan for many years for its numerous purported health benefits. The slimy strands within natto are rich in nattokinase. As a protease enzyme, nattokinase breaks down proteins. Specifically, it has potent fibrinolytic activity, which dissolves fibrinogen in the blood. Fibrinogen is a protein that contributes to the body’s normal clotting ability. However, having too much fibrinogen or related thrombi increases the risk of unwanted clotting and raises blood pressure. By breaking down excess fibrinogen, nattokinase promotes proper blood flow and circulation.

How does nattokinase support healthy blood pressure?

The exact mechanisms behind nattokinase’s benefits for blood pressure are still being investigated in ongoing research, but scientists have identified these key actions.

  1. Fibrinolytic activity – As mentioned, nattokinase enhances fibrinolysis, so fewer clots and thrombi form. Blood clots in vessels severely restrict blood flow, leading to spikes in blood pressure. Nattokinase allows plasmin the body’s natural clot-dissolver to work more efficiently and prevent unwanted clotting events.
  2. Vasodilation – By keeping blood vessels open and clear, nattokinase supplement allows improved vasodilation, meaning vessels fully relax and expand to let blood through easily. Unimpeded blood flow allows pressure to remain balanced and normal. It also reduces strain on the heart so it doesn’t have to pump as hard against resistance.
  3. Endothelium support – The endothelium is the inner lining of all blood vessels. It releases nitric oxide and other relaxing compounds that signal muscle cells to unflex so vessels dilate. Nattokinase protects endothelial cells from free radical damage while enhancing nitric oxide production. It allows robust vasodilation essential for normal blood pressure.

Added cardiovascular protection

  • Lowers bad cholesterol – By preventing atherosclerotic plaques that build up in blood vessels and impede flow. Lower LDL cholesterol means lower cardiac strain.
  • Thins blood – Making blood less viscous allows smoother flow rather than thick, sticky blood that struggles to move through narrow vessels.
  • Prevents strokes – By quickly breaking down clots before they travel to and block the blood supply to the brain or heart.
  • Eases inflammation – Reducing chronic vascular inflammation pivotal for flexible arteries, and unobstructed circulation.

The collective impact is robust cardio protection on numerous fronts exactly what you want for overall cardiovascular wellness and healthy blood pressure lasting into older age.

Research on nattokinase and blood pressure

All the mechanisms of action described above came from numerous scientific studies investigating how nattokinase interacts with the circulatory system in humans and animals. Though more research is still needed, this enzyme supplement may support healthy blood pressure based on current science. A placebo-controlled double-blind study published in Nutrition Research showed 86 participants either took nattokinase or placebo capsules twice a day. A comparison of nattokinase and placebo groups showed significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures after two months.

The next eight-week study had participants consume either nattokinase (2000 fibrinolytic units daily) or a placebo. Scientists found the nattokinase group had substantially lower blood pressure readings than placebo 128/75 mmHg on average compared to 137/81 mmHg on average for placebo. An uncontrolled, observational study tracked people with normal or slightly elevated blood pressure who took nattokinase for four months. Scientists recorded major drops in systolic and diastolic readings over time, indicating nattokinase’s consistent benefits for balanced circulation.

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