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Nattokinase is an enzyme extracted from natto, a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. This enzyme has attracted considerable attention in recent decades due to its potential health-promoting effects, particularly in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Discovery of nattokinase

The discovery is attributed to Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi, who discovered the enzyme in 1980 at the University of Chicago. During his research into thrombolysis, the dissolution of blood clots, he identified a substance in natto that could effectively dissolve blood clots. Dr. Sumi named this substance “nattokinase”, which later proved to be extremely effective in improving blood circulation and reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Forms and dosages of nattokinase

It can be taken in various forms, mainly as capsules, tablets or in liquid form. The usual dosage is between 100 and 200 milligrams per day. It is recommended to take nattokinase on an empty stomach for optimal absorption and effectiveness.

Areas of application and mode of action

Nattokinase is known for its ability to break down fibrin, a protein that plays a role in the formation of blood clots. The most important areas of application are

  • Prevention of cardiovascular disease: It helps prevent blood clots and promotes healthy circulation.
  • Lowering blood pressure: It can help to lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
  • Improving blood flow properties: It reduces the viscosity of the blood and thus improves circulation.

Recommended intake and contraindications

Despite the many benefits, the use of nattokinase is not recommended for people with certain pre-existing conditions, particularly those who suffer from blood clotting disorders or are taking blood-thinning medication. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also consult a doctor before taking it.

Nattokinase: dietary supplements and medicinal plants

The following dietary supplements can be helpful to support the effect:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Known for their anti-inflammatory and blood-thinning properties.
  • Vitamin E: Helps regulate blood clotting and improves blood circulation.
  • Garlic extract: Promotes heart health and has a positive effect on blood pressure.

These supplements can work synergistically to support the cardiovascular system.

Food sources and side effects

Nattokinase is mainly found in natto, a food obtained by fermenting soybeans with Bacillus subtilis natto. As it is a natural enzyme, it is relatively safe to use, although sensitive individuals may experience side effects such as flatulence, stomach upset or allergic reactions. Excessive consumption can lead to increased bleeding, especially in people who are taking blood-thinning medication at the same time.

Nattokinase: overdose and traditional medicine

An overdose can lead to excessive blood thinning and an increased risk of bleeding. In traditional East Asian medicine, natto has been used for centuries as a remedy for various ailments, but the health-promoting properties of nattokinase have only recently been scientifically proven.


Nattokinase offers a promising natural treatment option for cardiovascular diseases and to improve blood circulation. Despite the many benefits, it should always be taken in consideration of the individual’s state of health and after consultation with a doctor. Combining it with other natural supplements can enhance the positive effects, while avoiding overdoses is important to minimize risks.

Published on: 6. May 2024


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