Nattokinase can have a very powerful effect on cardiovascular health, but also has a notable impact on other areas of the body.
What is Nattokinase?
Nattokinase is an enzyme that is produced and extracted from a traditional Japanese food called natto, which is composed of fermented soybeans. When you consume nattokinase, it begins to break down certain proteins within the body and various organ systems, along with different blood clots and cellular toxins, thus improving metabolism and boosting the body’s efficiency.
This specific enzyme is known as a protease and plays an important part in breaking down proteins in the body, as well as an arterial plaque in the cardiovascular system. It is closely related to serrapeptase, another proteolytic enzyme that performs many of the same functions. Generally speaking, nattokinase is very good for the body, although it is not considered an essential nutrient, by any means. 
Consuming this in food sources, as well as in supplement form, is becoming increasingly popular for its potential impact on cancer prevention and other critical aspects of health.
The top benefits of nattokinase include the following:
- Regulate blood pressure
- Boost gastrointestinal health
- Eliminate blood clots
- Lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improve cardiovascular health
Let us discuss them in detail below.
Enzymes are critical parts of the digestive system, and in the case of nattokinase, it can help to stabilize and normalize your digestive processes, thus eliminating symptoms of diarrhea, bloating, and cramping. 
By reducing the stickiness of arterial plaque, this enzyme is able to lower your risk of hypertension by clearing the way for easy blood flow through the blood vessels and arteries. 
Blood clots can cause heart attacks and strokes, but these silent killers are much more dangerous in conjunction with plaque buildup; nattokinase reduces that buildup and thus lowers the risk of blood clots getting stuck. 
When your blood is flowing unobstructed, there is far more oxygenation of your organ systems taking place, as well as the delivery of different resources to key parts of the body, improving your overall metabolism and health. 
According to an animal study published in Human and Experimental Toxicology journal, nattokinase showed potential in lowering the levels of amyloid plaque in the brain and may have a therapeutic application in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. However, more research is required to establish the same.  
By reducing blood clot size and clearing plaque from the blood vessels, this enzyme can help to reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and coronary heart diseases.
Nattokinase Side Effects
There are a number of nattokinase side effects of which you should be aware, particularly if you are taking concentrated supplements of this enzyme, including bleeding disorders, as well as complications with surgery, pregnancy, and liver issues.
- Blood Clotting: This enzyme is known to reduce blood clotting in the body, which can cause additional bleeding disorders, as well as complications during surgery. If you are taking blood-clotting medication, avoid consuming additional nattokinase.
- Pregnancy: There is limited knowledge about the effects of this enzyme on pregnant and nursing women, so it is generally recommended to avoid these supplements or the consumption of natto.
- Liver Problems: Some anecdotal evidence points to this enzyme exacerbating liver problems when taken regularly, so consult with a doctor before adding natto or enzyme supplements to your diet.