I field a lot of questions about high blood pressure. It’s on many of your minds, and no wonder. High blood pressure is a leading cause of major cardiac events.
As a complementary cardiologist, I advocate traditional and alternative therapies to treat this common problem. One of the alternative therapies I’m truly excited about is Nattokinase—an enzyme that comes from the Japanese cheese-like food, Natto.
It works by addressing one of the most overlooked problems in the development of arterial disease and high blood pressure: hyperviscosity. In plain words, that means it helps to counteract thick, sick, sticky, and inflamed blood—keeping your blood flowing as it should.
Nattokinase works by reinforcing the actions of plasmin, your body’s own enzyme that breaks down the clotting agent called fibrin, thereby preventing abnormal thickening of the blood. Because plasmin production slows as you age, this type of support is a real boon for us older folks.
With nattokinase, you want to start at 50 mg a day and raise the dose to 100 mg after a week. Be sure to regularly check your blood pressure as you begin taking the supplement, to monitor its effects. You’ll likely be in for a pleasant surprise and find that your doctor may be able to reduce your medication.
One precaution to note: Patients who are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) should not take nattokinase because both products act on fibrin. Taking them together may result in your having too little fibrin to form any clots at all. Everyone taking nattokinase should limit their fish oil intake to no more than 3g a day because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil also make blood less sticky and less likely to form clots.