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Nattokinase for Healthy Circulation

[Systemic Enzymes | How Nattokinase Works]
Lifestyle Strategies for Maintaining Cardiovascular Health | References]

Nattokinase is a systemic enzyme that

  • Supports the fibrinolytic blood clearing system (breakdown of fibrin protein in the blood)

  • Promotes cardiovascular health

Every tissue in your body relies on your heart to circulate blood through approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels.  Enzymes, which accelerate chemical reactions, can help with a lot more than just digestion.  Systemic enzymes are a special class of enzymes that work on every system in your body to support health.  Nattokinase, a systemic enzyme derived from the fermented soy food natto, supports good circulation and thus cardiovascular health.  

Systemic Enzymes

Enzymes accelerate thousands of chemical reactions in your body.  Systemic enzymes are a special enzyme class that work on every system in your body to support your complete -- or systemic -- health.

Different systemic enzymes, such as papain, bromelain, pancreatin and nattokinase, each work in different ways.  The results can include reducing cellular irritation, promoting clear blood flow and supporting balanced immune reactions for your short-term comfort and long-term health. 

The legend about the discovery of natto began thousands of years ago with Yoshiie Minamoro, a famous Japanese warrior, who was forced to pack hot cooked soybeans in straw for traveling.  When the soybeans were later unpacked, the sticky mess was considered spoiled.  But when the horses, notoriously picky eaters, preferred this soy food, then people began consuming natto and discovering its health benefits. 

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How Nattokinase Works

Healthy circulation occurs when your blood flows smoothly.  It takes complex cascades of events to maintain this cardiovascular balance.  Nattokinase doesn't inhibit blood clot formation.  Instead, it works to support healthy circulation three ways. 

First, Nattokinase assists the fibrinolytic blood clearing system by breaking down cross-linked fibrin protein deposits in the blood.  Second, in preliminary studies, natto extracts promote clear blood flow by reducing Euglobulin Lysis Time (ELT). Third, nattokinase supports blood clearing by breaking down Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), an inhibitor of an enzyme that helps keep blood flowing.  Lifestyle conditions such as high stress, high glucose levels and high amounts of adipose tissue are associated with increased PAI-1 levels. 

Healthy circulation can do wonders to support your total health.  When your circulation isn't balanced, then your tissues aren't getting enough nutrients and your blood isn't clearing enough wastes away, which can increase cellular irritation and decrease overall cell health.  Alternately, systemic enzymes such as nattokinase support healthy circulation so your tissues can get optimal levels of nutrients delivered and wastes removed for your better health. 

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Lifestyle Strategies for Maintaining Cardiovascular Health

Eat a Healthy Diet: A diet low in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids, and high in complex carbohydrates and fiber is important for your cardiovascular health.  Good choices include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean red meats, fish and poultry without skin (up to 6 oz per day), low-fat or fat-free dairy products, beans and peas, and healthy fats such as olive oil in limited amounts.  Avoid sugar, which has been reported to increase risk factors linked to heart disease. 

Some healthy cooking tips include using a rack to drain off fat when you broil, roast or bake; using wine, fruit juice or marinades to baste; broiling instead of pan-frying; using a vegetable oil spray to brown or saute foods; and cooking with egg whites instead of yolks. 

Exercise Regularly: Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important for supporting your cardiovascular system.  Exercise may increase heart healthy HDL cholesterol and lower blood triglycerides (fats), partly because of the decrease in total body fat and increase in muscle mass that usually accompanies exercise.  A recent study reported that dietary changes improve cholesterol levels only when an aerobic exercise program is also included.  Regular aerobic exercises -- brisk walking, jogging, swimming, biking, aerobic dance, and racquet sports -- are the best forms of exercise for lowering LDL and raising HDL levels.  Experts recommend that people aim for a routine of 30 minute brisk walks most days of the week; an excellent goal is 20 to 25 miles a week, but in terms of raising HDL levels, more is better.  Resistance (weight) training offers a complementary benefit by reducing LDL levels. 

Quit Smoking: Cigarette smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels and is directly responsible for approximately 20% of all deaths from heart disease.  The toxic effects of cigarette smoke damage blood vessels in the heart and legs.  In fact, smoking doubles an individual's risk of heart attack with any level of blood cholesterol.  The importance of breaking this habit cannot be emphasized enough. 

Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation:  Many studies have reported that modest consumption of alcohol increases HDL levels and protects against heart disease and possibly stroke.  However, since alcohol consumption can cause other health problems, you should consult your health care professional about alcohol use.  It has been suggested that antioxidants in red wine such as flavonoids and polyphenols contribute to alcohol's protective properties. 

Take the Right Supplements:  Many supplements can help support your heart health.  Folic acid, one of the B vitamins, supports arterial health by balancing homocysteine levels.  Magnesium, potassium, and calcium all help to maintain heart muscle health.  Antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and those found in extracts of green tea support blood vessel integrity.  And omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in flax seeds, cod liver oil, and other dietary supplements support healthy blood flow. 

Systemic enzymes such as nattokinase are a new class of natural compounds that can have significant impact on your cardiovascular, joint and immune health. 

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Sumi, H. et al. 1990. Enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in plasma by oral administration of nattokinase. Acta Haematologica (84): 139-143.

Fujita, M. et al. 1995. Transport of nattokinase across the rat intestinal tract.  Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 18(9): 1994-1196.

Yamamoto, K. et al. 2002. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 is a major stress-regulated gene: implications for stress-induced thrombosis in aged individuals.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 99(2): 890-895.

©2003 Source Naturals, Inc., P.O. Box 2118, Santa Cruz, CA 95063

Reprinted with exclusive permission by Source Naturals, Inc.

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