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Nattokinase for Blood Pressure - Does It Work?

Thinking of using nattokinase for blood pressure control?

Natto is a very popular traditional Japanese food that has been eaten for over 1,000 years.

Nattokinase is a proteolytic enzyme found in natto that have been shown to have significant health benefits for the heart and blood vessels.


Studies on nattokinase for hypertension

Most of the animal and human studies were done in universities located in Japan. This is not a surprise since the Japanese are the major consumers of natto.

Animal studies confirm that nattokinase is able to effectively lower blood pressure. This beneficial effect is seen in rats in less than 2 hours of giving them nattokinase extracted from natto.

A single dose lowered the blood pressure by 12.7%, proving that it works.


But what are the results in human studies?

Very similar benefits were seen in subjects with hypertension.

Volunteers given 30 grams of natto extract for four days resulted in a 10% drop in blood pressure.

The systolic blood pressure (the higher reading) went down from 174 to 155 mm Hg and the diastolic blood pressure (the lower reading) went down from 101 to 91 mm Hg.

In another study with 86 volunteers, taking 2,000 FU (Fibrinolytic Units) daily for 8 weeks resulted in a drop of blood pressure by 6 mm Hg.

These and other smaller studies clearly show that nattokinase has a role to play in controlling hypertension.


How much nattokinase to use - Recommendations

In treating high blood pressure with any natural remedies (and that includes nattokinase), it is important not to stop any of your prescription blood pressure medication without first talking to your doctor.

Any attempts to use natural remedies to lower blood pressure will require you to monitor your blood pressure regularly and preferably daily.

Otherwise, how will you know if it works? (Sorry, visiting your doctor every 3 to 6 months for a blood pressure checkup is not good enough.)

Start with 2,000 FU daily. You can increase it to 4,000 FU daily after 1 to 2 weeks if necessary for greater reduction in blood pressure.

When buying nattokinase, make sure that the manufacturer discloses the fibrinolytic units each capsule contains. Typically, a 100 mg of nattokinase pill will have 2,000 FU.


Side effects of nattokinase?

You can see all the reported side effects of nattokinase in this article Benefits of Nattokinase.

Human studies suggest that nattokinase is very well tolerated with very little reported side effects.

Because nattokinase has the potential to thin the blood (similar to what Aspirin does), there is a theoretical concern that it could increase the risk of bleeding.

Obviously, individuals on blood thinning therapy using Coumadin (warfarin) should consult their doctor first.

Individuals who are not on any blood-thinners or do not have a history of bleeding disorder do not need to be concerned.


Bottom line

Thinking of using nattokinase for blood pressure control?

Go for it! The Japanese do for cardiovascular health.

Since you can easily track the effectiveness of taking nattokinase by measuring your blood pressure, it may be worth trying.

But don't stop your existing blood pressure medication without first letting your doctor know. A detailed record of your daily blood pressure reading could help to convince your doctor of the effectiveness of taking nattokinase.

Taking nattokinase alone may be be enough bring your blood pressure down to a level acceptable to your doctor, but any decrease is a welcomed benefit. Perhaps, in time, you may be able to lower your doctor of your blood pressure medication.

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