Natto Foods vs. Nattokinase Supplements

What is the difference between Natto & Nattokinase?

A traditional Japanese food, “Natto,” is a food made from soybeans fermented by Bacillus natto and eaten about 1,200 years ago. Enzymes that Bacillus natto produce by fermentation include protease, and Dr. Oshima at Hokkaido Imperial University reported its purification and characteristics. Since then, they investigated serine protease, and in the 1980s, the enzyme that degrades fibrin proteins (a cause of thrombi) was named “Nattokinase.” Nattokinase is the sticky part of Natto. 

Amazing Life's Nattokinase Supplement


Function of Nattokinase

Studies show that nattokinase dissolves blood clots — which helps maintain good blood vessel structure, improves blood flow, and lowers the risk of heart disease. It can also help lower your blood pressure, reducing strain on the heart that can lead to heart attacks.

Degradation of Artificial Thrombus by Nattokinase

Figure 1 shows the time course of change in the artificial thrombus (white part) on which Natto was placed. As you can see, the thrombus around Natto is degraded as time goes by. This degradation phenomenon (action) takes place because of Nattokinase in the sticky part of Natto.Degradation of Artificial Thrombus by Nattokinase

Source: Japan NattoKinase Association


Intake of Natto and Fibrin Degradation Product (FDP)

Figure 2 below shows the change in fibrin degradation product (FDP) of 5 healthy volunteers who ate Natto, measured by latex agglutination. The graph named “Control” represents the result after eating Natto for the first time, “2 days” means the result after eating Natto for the second time on the second day, and “4 days” represents the result after eating Natto for the third time on the fourth day. You can see that the FDP value dramatically increased in 4 hours after eating Natto every time and decreased in 6 hours and 8 hours. Moreover, comparing those three charts, the FDP peak numbers went down as the volunteers ate Natto more times. It means that fibrins got degraded by continuously eating Natto.

Intake of Natto and Fibrin Degradation Product (FDP)

Source: Japan NattoKinase Association

Natto Foods vs. Nattokinase Supplements

  1. Nattokinase activity in commercially available natto foods varies, and the activity level will decrease due to how the Natto food is cooked or prepared. However, ingredients in dietary supplements are more stable. Therefore, nattokinase supplements often offer a more stable level of Nattokinase activity.
  2. Many people said that the best time to take Nattokinase is after dinner or before sleep. You may not like to eat Natto foods before bedtime, but it is easy to do so with supplements.
  3. Natto foods have a very distinctive smell and flavor so that you need to consider where and when to eat them. However, you can take supplements wherever you like.

  4. Natto foods have a high nutritional value and a high amount of calories and purine. In contrast, calories in supplements are usually lower, so that you do not need to worry about calorie intake.

Should You Eat Nattokinase?

Nattokinase consumption is generally safe for most people.
Nevertheless, Nattokinase contains vitamin K1, which has blood-thinning properties. For this reason, individuals already taking blood-thinning medication should seek advice from their doctor before adding Nattokinase supplement to their diets.

Please find out more information about our Nattokinase + CoQ10 supplement registered in Japan NattoKinase Association.