One may be right to say that more and more people are beginning to pay special attention to their health. The increased awareness appears to have also contributed to greater efforts by researchers to bring to the fore a variety of natural substances that can promote wellness. Nattokinase is one of those. This is said to offer several amazing benefits, which many older individuals will especially find appealing. We cover virtually all you need to know about the natural treatment in this article.
Nattokinase is an enzyme that is obtained from a type of Japanese food known as natto. This food is a staple of sorts in Japan, where people have ate it for several centuries. It is a product of fermented soybeans. The bacterium Bacillus subtilis is added to boiled soybeans for the fermentation to take place. It is common knowledge that soy-based products contain enzymes that could be beneficial to health. However, nattokinase is specific to natto.
The discovery of the enzyme is credited to Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi. The University of Chicago research scientist was said to have been investigating how to liquefy clots in the blood so as to prevent heart-related issues. The substance is now being made through the use recombinant technology. It was first isolated and sold by Japan Bio Science Laboratory in 1998.
Based on the name, it might appear nattokinase belongs to the kinase group of enzymes. But it is actually a fibrionic protease belonging to the subtilisin family. This kind of substance helps to hydrolyze proteins in the body.
Scientists have shown that nattokinase has impressive ability in the breaking down of fibrin in the body. This probably explains why it is called a fibrionic enzyme. It helps to break down clots and substances in the blood to enhance flow. The enzyme reduces blood viscosity. It assists in eliminating gelatinous substance in the arteries.
The proteins contained in foods we eat often have somewhat complex amino acid structure. This makes it hard for the body to properly use them. Nattokinase is a type of enzyme that can be useful in hydrolyzing these protein molecules. It breaks them down into basic amino acids for easier digestion and absorption.
In addition to interfering with fibrin protein bonds, nattokinase also helps to boost the production of plasmin. This is your body's natural protection against fibrin. The enzyme can also be useful for breaking down a variety of unneeded, waste materials in the body.
The Japanese have for a long time known about the health benefits of natto, in which this enzyme is found. They believe it offers a great way of boosting heart health. It is said that the food was introduced into the country by Samurai warriors several hundreds of years ago. These ate natto daily. The warriors also allegedly gave it to their horses to enhance their agility. Little wonder then that this food is popular for breakfast among Japanese people to this day.
After a number of studies highlighted the health benefits of nattokinase, people in some other places outside Japan have started taking to natto. The food has found its way to the United States. Those who aren't able to get or eat natto are also provided with the option of its enzyme supplements.
Nattokinase is regarded a useful addition for the prevention and management of diseases or disorders. A good number of these conditions are age-related - their incidence is greater among or limited to older people. Research shows that the enzyme may help in the following ways:
Hypertension prevention – Given how it helps to get rid of blood clots and promote circulation, nattokinase may be helpful for guarding against high blood pressure. There is research showing it can be useful for this purpose as well.
In a double-blind study of 86 patients, aged between 20 and 80, researchers evaluated how this enzyme may be beneficial for the treatment of pre-hypertension and stage-one hypertension. The subjects received either a nattokinase supplement or placebo for eight weeks. It was observed that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels reduced among treated patients. There was also reduction in the levels of a proteinase secreted by the kidney known to activate angiotensin, an action that elevates blood pressure.
Protection against heart issues and stroke – Nattokinase may also help to put your heart in a good shape. It is considered useful for enhancing heart health and keeping stroke at bay. Many people in America are at risk of these conditions. The American Heart Association says about one million individuals will suffer a heart attack each year. Over 700,000 suffer stroke yearly, according to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report.
The ability of this enzyme in breaking down blood clots makes it useful for guarding against these risks. This action serves to reduce thrombosis which can give room for pulmonary embolisms, heart attack or stroke. Older people are usually at risk of these disorders. A reason for this is the reduction that is seen in the production of plasmin with age. Nattokinase may help to deal with this. It is even said to be up to four times more effective than the natural plasmin at breaking down fibrin.
AAlzheimer's disease – Nattokinase may protect you against this dreaded neurodegenerative disorder. Alzheimer's is a very common form of neuro degeneration. Its risk increases with age. The proteinase enzyme is thought beneficial for preventing this disorder due to its effect on the amyloids.
Nattokinase helps to clear away amyloids, which are a key factor in the incidence of Alzheimer's. Research shows that these can form from about a score of proteins that are not related. The enzyme facilitates amyloid hydrolysis and degradation.
The risk of you having several other conditions may also reduce through the use of nattokinase. It could potentially be beneficial for prevention or management of:
It may also help with some other conditions apart from these ones. But it should be noted that there is currently insufficient evidence supporting some of these uses.
There appears to be nothing to worry about on the use of this enzyme, so long you stick to recommended doses. WebMD notes that you shouldn't have a problem when you take it in amounts typically present in food. It specifically states that two doses of Flite Tabs, which contains the enzyme, appear sufficient for safety. It is not clear if there will be side effects when you take higher amounts.
However, you may need to avoid nattokinase if you suffer from a bleeding disorder. It can worsen bleeding due to how it thins the blood. This advice is also relevant to people who may be thinking of undergoing surgery.
You should try to ensure you do not take nattokinase along with anti-coagulants or anti-platelets. The use of these drugs at the same time thins your blood the more. This increases risks of bruising and bleeding. Examples of such medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin, and diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren).
Nattokinase does look like something that can help promote great health and lower your risk of age-related disorders. You can get it from eating natto, which is now available outside Japan. It is possible to even make this food at home if you have soybeans and other requirements, including Bacillus subtilis. There is also the alternative of getting the enzyme in form of supplements that are already in the American market. Guidance by your doctor will be beneficial in ensuring safety.
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