One of the most vital and important parts of your body is your heart and vasculature (blood vessels), yet often it is taken for granted the most. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 600,000 Americans lose their lives to heart disease every year1. Heart disease is considered to be the number one, most common cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and over 900,000 people have heart attacks per year1.
Natto is a Japanese dish made of fermented soybeans2. Rich in cultural history, this traditional dish was found to provide great health benefits. Further studies revealed that specific proteins called Nattokinase, helped people lower their blood pressure3. Natural occurring microbes called Bacillus subtillis natto produce Nattokinase4, which is a potent fibrinolytic enzyme.
How It Works
Eating a high-fat western diet, rich in cholesterol can cause an increase in Low Density Lipoproteins (LDLs) inside your circulatory system. These LDL particles then begin to accumulate in the media region of your arteries and become oxidized by your own cells. Your body initially tries to clear oxidized LDL in blood vessels by immune cells (macrophages), cause local inflammation, and cause other cells (smooth muscle cells, T cells, etc…) to migrate to the location and help stabilize the region by secreting fibirin (creating what is known as a fibrous cap).
Nattokinase being a fibronolytic enzyme (once orally consumed) circulate through the blood vessels and degrade plaque formations3,8, thus breaking down blood clots and relieving blood pressure and blood flow3,8. Here at Vesta, we even have our own human clinical data showing evidence of our Nattokinase NSP-2™ lowering blood pressure and breaking down clots.
Free Radicals, Oxidative Stress, and Cardiovascular Health
The standard way to treat heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) is to treat through restoring blood flow (reperfusion) by using thrombolytic agents5. Often times this standard way of reperfusion can cause additional injury to the heart and this is often called “reperfusion injury.”5 Also mentioned earlier, cardiovascular disease is often associated with the production of free radicals and oxidative stresses.6
Cardiovascular tissue (heart and arteries) is vulnerable to these free radicals and oxidative stresses, and this caused a collaborative research project between a university in China and Korea to look into a better method of taking care of “reperfusion injuries.”7 The research group showed through both biochemical approaches, live animal simulations and on live human blood vessels that Nattokinase not only dissolves blood clots, but also prevents damages due to free radicals and oxidative stresses.7