Statistically speaking, there’s a very good chance that you know someone who has had a heart attack. You also are quite likely to know several more individuals who have cardiovascular disease but are unaware of it and the fact that their lives are in jeopardy as a result. But here’s the clincher: if you’re over 50, there’s a better than even chance that you yourself fit into one of these two categories. You may need Nattokinase.

It is generally accepted that the Japanese have longer life spans with far fewer health problems associated with cardiovascular disease than almost any other nationality in the world. Of course, part of this record can be attributed to a diet high in grains, vegetables and fish. However new research has shown that another important and relatively little known aspect of the Japanese diet, a fermented food called natto, plays a very large part in Japanese cardiovascular health. It was also what led researchers to discover the enzyme Nattokinase, an essential component of natto.

To understand why this enzyme is so important, it helps to know a little about the history and production method of natto, the use of which probably came about quite by accident. It has been speculated that someone probably stored soybeans in a package of straw or sack of rice straw which serendipitously created the perfect circumstances required for fermentation. Whatever the source of this discovery, it evolved into a national dish and a mainstream product that has been used in Japan for well over 1000 years as a treatment for fatigue, diarrhea, heart and circulatory problems

One theory has it that natto was first used during the Jomon period between 1000 B.C. and 300 B.C. According to another story, its discovery dates back to 1083 when Yoshiie Minamoto, a famous samurai of the period, was on a battle campaign in northeastern Japan and his army was attacked while boiling soybeans for horse feed. Hurriedly packing up the beans, his troops did not have time to open the straw bags until a few days later, which gave the beans time enough to ferment. The soldiers and their commander ate them anyway, and liked the taste. A third source suggests that the discovery of natto was a relatively recent event that occurred during the Edo period (1603 to 1867).

But whenever it occurred, from that point on samurai warriors also fed this mixture to their horses to increase the animals’ endurance, stamina and strength.


Natto is made by fermenting cooked whole soybeans with a bacterial starter, now thought to be a strain of the species Bacillus subtilis, at 40 degrees centigrade (104 0 F) for 14-18 hours, until the dark-brown beans become covered with a viscous, sticky substance. This material is a form of glutamic acid and becomes more noticeable when the beans are lifted from the bowl, at which point they stretch out to as much as eight feet.

Usually sold in the container in which it is fermented, natto has a slightly musty flavour which is definitely an acquired taste. Natto is unique to Japan, where it is usually served for breakfast mixed with shoyu (natural soy sauce), mustard and, sometimes, minced leeks, generally on top of or mixed in with hot rice. Because natto is made from soybeans that have not been dehulled, it is a lightly processed, whole and natural food. Easily and inexpensively made at home, this nutritious food _______can be eaten without additional cooking.

It is interesting to note that all traditional fermented soy foods except natto (and its close relatives) are cultured with molds; miso, shoyu, and soy nuggets with aspergillus; tempeh with rhizopus, and fermented tofu with actinomucor. Natto alone is fermented with bacteria. Moreover, it is one of the few foods in the world fermented with aerobic, spore-forming bacteria. As a direct result of this procedure, natto produces active protease enzymes, which predigest the soybeans.

One of these enzymes, nattokinase, has been the subject of considerable interest due to its curative properties pertaining to cardiovascular health in general and its spectacular effects on embolism and blood clots in particular.

In 1980, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi of the University of Chicago Medical School tested 173 different foods for their effect on healthy circulation. He was searching for a natural agent that could successfully dissolve thrombus associated with cardiac and cerebral infarction (blood clots associated with heart attacks and stroke).

One day in 1980 Dr. Sumi took the natto that he was eating for lunch and dropped a small portion into the artificial thrombus (fibrin) plate and was astonished to observe how the natto gradually dissolved the thrombus and had completely dissolved it in 18 hours! Dr. Sumi found that the sticky part of natto, commonly called “threads” exhibited a strong fibrinolytic (blood-clot-resolving) activity. He named this naturally occurring fibrinolytic enzyme “nattokinase”. He reported that he thought the nattokinase enzyme derived from natto to be the most effective natural product to facilitate effective circulation he had ever seen, and commented that nattokinase showed “a potency matched by no other enzyme.” 4, 6

Dr. Sumi reported that nattokinase not only prevented clots from forming but also dissolved blood clots that had already formed. Until this time, there had never been any natural product capable of treating and preventing the number one cause of death and disability in the USA.

Thrombotic clogging (blood clots) of the cerebral blood vessels is now widely believed to be one of the leading causes of dementia. Some Japanese medical experts, for instance, have estimated that thrombosis is responsible for around 60% of the senile dementia cases reported in their country. It occurs as a result of small clots that migrate to the brain, successfully blocking various smaller blood vessels. This in turn cuts off the blood supply to portions of the brain, along with the vital oxygen needed for proper brain function. While the blockage is not severe enough to create life-threatening situations, it is substantial enough to interfere with memory and to be associated with senile dementia, sometimes even being mistaken for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Thrombotic diseases typically include cerebral hemorrhage, cerebral infarction, cardiac infarction and angina pectoris, as well as conditions caused by diminished blood vessel flexibility, among them senile dementia and diabetes. If chronic diseases of the capillaries are also considered, then the number of thrombus-related conditions might be much higher. Cardiac infarction patients may have an inherent imbalance. It may be that their thrombolytic enzymes are weaker or present in lesser amounts than their coagulant enzymes. Nattokinase holds great promise to support patients with such inherent weaknesses in a convenient and consistent manner, without side effects. 1, 4, 6

Debilities caused by thrombosis do not suddenly just appear, although it often may seem that way. An important factor to remember is that thrombus is a direct result of long-term problems and issues related to improper clotting of the blood. It does not occur overnight, as is the case with most chronic conditions.

This common but dangerous affliction can now be easily prevented. Just as research has reported a change in the levels and ratios of both coagulant and anticoagulant enzymes naturally found in the blood as we age, it could be inevitable that blood-vessel conditions such as thrombus increase in number unless preventive measures are taken. Unfortunately up until now there have been no safe and natural products available that were capable of effectively averting this potentially deadly condition. The only options have been prescription-based anticoagulants such as warfarin and heparin, both of which are not suitable for long-term use due to numerous and dangerous side effects.

With the availability of nattokinase, however, a new, natural and worry-free line of defense has opened up for the millions of Americans whose prospects for a healthy and active future have been clouded by the threat of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.

For more information on Nattokinase please visit our Nattokinase page

1 Comment so far »

  1. by ALBERT W FALKE SR, on November 20 2010 @ 12:16 pm


    I recently had surgery for blockage of the aorta vein which was on the l.h. sidewhich was 80% blocked and the Dr tells me that the R.H. side is 40-50% blocked.
    My question does Nattokinase dissolve blockage? Does it clean up other vessels in the body?

    Nattokinase does not dissolve blockages nor does it thin the blood. Nattokinase stops the platelets from sticking together.

Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Name: (Required)

eMail: (Required)