Lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, and reducing arterial plaque are some ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Good nutrition can also help improve cardiovascular function. Natto is a food that has been linked to longevity. Made from fermented soybeans, it contains nattokinase, an enzyme studied for its cardio preventative benefits [“Nattokinase: A Promising Alternative in Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases.” ]. 


Benefits of Nattokinase on Cardiovascular Health

May Prevent Blood Clots

Certain proteins will bind together and form blood clots in the arteries. Blockages in the arteries leading to the brain will result in a stroke.   Nattokinase can activate substances that break down blood clots.   Consumption of 100 mg per kg of body weight natto bacillus was shown to increase the activity of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a protein involved in dissolving blood clots .   Stroke risk can be measured by blood clotting proteins. Proteins fibrinogen, factor VII, and factor VIII associated with stroke were found to be reduced after taking two capsules of nattokinase (2000 units per capsule) daily for two months. 

May Lower Blood Pressure

Nattokinase has also been found to lower blood pressure (BP) in those with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension.   Systolic and diastolic BP went down about 13 points and 5.7 points after taking 2,000 fibrinolysis units (FU) of nattokinase daily for 8 weeks when compared with a placebo [ ].

May Lower Cholesterol and Suppress Atherosclerosis 

Cholesterol and plaque build up can lead to heart disease. Nattokinase can help keep these levels in check and may also reduce the size of plaque in arteries.   A study involving people with high cholesterol levels showed a drop in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides when given 6500 units of nattokinase for 26 weeks [6].   Nattokinase was shown to reduce plaque better than a statin. Taking 6,000 FU nattokinase over 26 weeks reduced carotid plaque size by 36.6% compared with only 11.5% in those given 20 mg of simvastatin []. 

May Improve Brain Health

Heart health is also important for good brain health. Lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain can result in cognitive decline and brain disease.   Nattokinase can protect the brain by improving blood flow. It also prevents platelet clumping and blood clotting which can lead to stroke    Amyloid fibrils are associated with diseases of the brain. Nattokinase was shown to destroy these proteins when studied in rats

Dosage Recommendations

There is no optimal dosage recommended for nattokinase due to limited research. Studies have shown to use up to 5000 fibrinolysis units (FU) a day  taken with meals []. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s directions.   Before starting Nattokinase especially if you have certain medical conditions and are on any medications it is suggested you discuss with your medical professional. Those with soy allergies/sensitivities and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid this product. 



 If there are any restrictions and changes in oxygen and blood flow this can be potentially dangerous and may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and/or blood clots. Nattokinase has been found to have a positive effect on heart health and as a blood thinner. Using Nattokinase you can expect smoother blood flow, reduction in blood clot formation, greater oxygen delivery, and healthier maintenance of blood pressure. 

Jeanette Kimszal is a Registered Dietitian and health writer with a passion for creating evidence-based content to engage and help readers. In her spare time, she runs a website educating health professionals on thyroid nutrition as well as a blog offering nutrition tips and recipes for stress relief to busy women. When she is not writing, you can find her hanging out at the beach or checking out live music down at the Jersey shore. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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