It’s hard enough to build muscle and burn fat, so who wouldn’t want an extra edge? Nattokinase has been gaining popularity in the bodybuilding world lately, but what is it and what can it do for you?
This substance is made from fermented soybeans and is typically considered a supplement. Its primary benefit is that it helps with fibrinolysis, a natural process that helps break down blood clots. But people in the bodybuilding world have started to take notice of another potential benefit: overweight and obesity management.
Nattokinase might also help with muscular hypertrophy—the process of increasing the size of your muscles. What’s more, research suggests that nattokinase might even help catalyze fat loss. In this article we’ll explore the potential bodybuilding benefits of nattokinase and discuss how you can add it to your routine.
What Is Nattokinase and Why Is It Relevant for Bodybuilding?
First things first—what is nattokinase? It’s a natural enzyme extracted from fermented soybeans known for its anticoagulant effect and its ability to support the heart and cardiovascular system. Nattokinase also promotes healthy blood clotting and has antioxidant properties, making it a great supplement to include in your bodybuilding routine.
So why do bodybuilders need it? For one, nattokinase can help with fat loss by promoting healthy circulation and digestion. It also helps break down fibrin, which is a major component of fat cells, allowing them to be more easily released into the bloodstream where they can be burned off through exercise or improved dietary habits.
In addition, nattokinase can help with muscle gain and hypertrophy when combined with regular weight training. It helps increase healthy blood flow to muscle tissue, promoting better nutrient absorption – ultimately leading to improved recovery rates and higher workout intensity for increased muscle gains.
Does Nattokinase Help With Fat Loss?
At the moment, there’s no solid proof that nattokinase directly helps with fat loss. Most of the research on this enzyme from fermented soybeans is actually centered around its potential to support heart health, regulate blood pressure, and prevent blood clots.
Even though nattokinase might promote better blood flow and circulation, which can be beneficial for overall health, there’s no specific evidence to say it’s effective for weight loss or managing your weight.
If your goal is to lose some fat, it’s usually better to concentrate on eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and living a healthy lifestyle. And, as always, it’s smart to chat with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement or weight loss plan to make sure it’s the right fit for your unique health needs.
Does Nattokinase Help With Muscle Gain?
So, does nattokinase help with muscle gain/hypertrophy? The answer is…kinda. Nattokinase contains an enzyme that can help dissolve excess fibrin in blood vessels, which can help improve muscle function and prevent muscle cramping. It also contains potassium which is linked to improved muscle function and can help increase the uptake of oxygen in muscles.
In addition, nattokinase helps reduce inflammation and aids in better circulation of blood throughout the body, which increases nutrient delivery to the muscles. This means that you can exercise more intensely and recover faster, leading to improved muscle gains over time.
Moreover, nattokinase helps breakdown protein during digestion which leads to a greater availability of amino acids in your system. Amino acids are essential building blocks for muscle growth and recovery leading to increased size and strength gains over time.
While nattokinase doesn’t have a direct effect on hypertrophy, it is possible that some of it’s benefits could lead to some gains.
What Research Says About Nattokinase and Bodybuilding
When it comes to bodybuilding, you might be wondering if nattokinase is any help. It turns out that nattokinase may have some benefits.
Research has shown that nattokinase can dissolve blood clots and improve blood flow throughout the body. This could be a benefit for those engaged in bodybuilding because better bloodflow would mean more nutrients getting to muscles and possibly helping with growth in muscle mass.
Another potential benefit is that nattokinase has been documented to possibly lower blood pressure in those with hypertension. For bodybuilders, this could be beneficial because it could make strenuous training easier since your heart won’t have to work as hard so more energy may be available for building muscle mass.
Finally, nattokinase contains sizable amounts of vitamins C and B as well as riboflavin which are all beneficial for overall health and performance in general. As such, nattokinase could potentially help with fat loss and muscle gain due to its ability to foster a healthier lifestyle when supplemented along with an active lifestyle, nutrition plan and regular training schedule.
A List of known Nattokinase Benefits
Nattokinase has been studied for various health benefits, but it’s important to note that research in some areas is limited, and more studies are needed to confirm certain benefits. Some of the potential benefits of nattokinase include:
- Blood pressure regulation: Several studies have suggested that nattokinase can help lower blood pressure, particularly in people with hypertension or prehypertension.
- Blood clot prevention: Nattokinase is known for its fibrinolytic activity, which means it can break down fibrin, a protein involved in blood clot formation. This may help prevent blood clots and improve circulation.
- Cardiovascular health: By improving blood flow and preventing blood clot formation, nattokinase may contribute to better cardiovascular health.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Some animal studies have suggested that nattokinase might help prevent the formation of amyloid-beta plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings in humans.
Here’s a quick video from Dr Berg talking about some of the benefits of nattokinase:
Furthermore, according to Dr Axe, nattokinase has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions including:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Varicose veins
- Poor circulation
- Peripheral artery disease
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Muscle spasms
- Uterine fibroids
What about nattokinase skin benefits?
There is limited research available on the direct benefits of nattokinase for the skin. Most of the studies and research on nattokinase focus on its blood clot-dissolving and blood pressure-lowering properties, as well as its potential effects on cardiovascular health.
While better circulation and blood flow, which nattokinase does likely promote, can contribute to overall skin health, there is not enough evidence to support any specific skin benefits directly attributed to nattokinase supplementation.
It’s important to note that research on nattokinase is still relatively limited, and further studies may reveal additional benefits or applications in the future. If you are interested in improving your skin health, it may be more beneficial to focus on a balanced diet, proper hydration, and a suitable skincare routine. As always, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including nattokinase, to discuss its potential benefits and risks based on your individual health needs.
Nattokinase and Gut Health
There isn’t much research specifically focused on nattokinase and gut health. However, nattokinase is derived from natto, a fermented soybean product, and fermented foods are generally considered beneficial for gut health due to their probiotic content. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help support a healthy gut microbiome, improve digestion, and strengthen the immune system. While nattokinase itself may not have direct gut health benefits, consuming natto as a whole food could potentially contribute to better gut health.
If you are interested in improving your gut health, incorporating a variety of fermented foods like natto, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi into your diet, along with prebiotic-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can be beneficial. As always, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including nattokinase, to discuss its potential benefits and risks based on your individual health needs.
Nattokinase Cancer Research
There is limited evidence to suggest that nattokinase may have potential anti-cancer effects. Some in vitro (test tube) and animal studies have shown that nattokinase can inhibit cancer cell growth, induce apoptosis (cell death), and suppress metastasis (the spread of cancer cells) [1, 2]. However, these findings are preliminary, and it’s important to note that results from in vitro and animal studies don’t always translate directly to humans.
As of now, there are no solid clinical trials to support the use of nattokinase as a cancer prevention or treatment agent in humans. More research is needed to determine its potential role in cancer therapy and whether it could be effective when combined with other treatments.
In summary, while there are some promising findings from preliminary studies, it’s too early to conclude that nattokinase can prevent or treat cancer in humans. It’s essential to rely on evidence-based treatments and follow the guidance of healthcare professionals when dealing with cancer.
Does Nattokinase Lower Blood Pressure?
Yes, there is evidence to suggest that nattokinase may help lower blood pressure, particularly in people with hypertension. Some studies have demonstrated that nattokinase supplementation can lead to a reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
One study published in the journal Hypertension Research in 2008 found that nattokinase supplementation led to a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in participants with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension . Another study published in the journal Nutrition Research in 2009 observed that nattokinase supplementation reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 5.55 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.84 mm Hg in mildly hypertensive participants .
It is believed that nattokinase exerts its blood pressure-lowering effects by improving blood flow, breaking down fibrin, and preventing blood clot formation. However, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind these effects and to establish optimal dosages and treatment durations.
While these studies provide support for the potential blood pressure-lowering effects of nattokinase, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting nattokinase supplementation, especially if you have high blood pressure or are taking blood pressure medications.
Does Nattokinase Have Any Effect On The Liver?
There is limited research on the direct effects of nattokinase on liver function. However, some studies suggest that nattokinase may have potential benefits for liver health through its effects on blood clotting and circulation.
For instance, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2017 found that nattokinase administration in mice could alleviate liver fibrosis (the formation of scar tissue in the liver) and improve liver function by reducing the accumulation of fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting . By targeting fibrin, nattokinase might help prevent the formation of blood clots and promote better blood flow in the liver, which could potentially be beneficial for liver health.
It’s essential to note that this study was conducted in mice, and the results may not directly translate to humans. More research is needed to determine the potential effects of nattokinase on liver function in humans and to establish optimal dosages and treatment durations.
If you are concerned about liver health or have a liver condition, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including nattokinase.
Timing of Nattokinase Use for Maximum Benefits
Most bodybuilders will likely want to use Nattokinase around their workout times to maximize its benefits of fat loss and muscle gain.
Why Timing Matters
Studies suggest that timing your Nattokinase dosage is important for maximum benefit, as Nattokinase activity has been demonstrated to last up to 8 hours. Taking it too close to a meal could limit the effectiveness of its fat-burning properties, while taking too far post-workout may mean missing out on a good portion of the muscle-building effects.
Optimal Dosage and Frequency
Typical dosage for Nattokinase is 100 mg (2,000 FU) once or twice daily for a period of 8 weeks. This dosage is considered safe and effective, with no known major side effects. It’s always best to follow the instructions on the product label before taking any supplements.
Suggested Dosage of Nattokinase for Bodybuilding
Nattokinase has been widely studied for its potential health benefits, particularly in supporting cardiovascular health and promoting healthy blood flow. When it comes to suggested dosage, it’s important to note that individual needs may vary, and it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Generally, nattokinase supplements are available in varying strengths, often measured in fibrinolytic units (FU). A common recommended dosage is 2,000 FU daily, typically taken in two separate doses of 1,000 FU each. However, some studies have used higher dosages for specific conditions.
It’s crucial to follow the instructions on the supplement label and adhere to the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure proper use and optimal benefits from nattokinase supplementation.
Why You Should Take Nattokinase on an Empty Stomach
Taking nattokinase on an empty stomach is recommended for optimal absorption and effectiveness. When you consume nattokinase with food, the enzymes in the supplement may become preoccupied with breaking down the proteins in the food instead of focusing on their intended fibrinolytic activity (breaking down fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting). By taking nattokinase on an empty stomach, you allow it to be absorbed more efficiently and ensure that its fibrinolytic properties can work in the bloodstream without interference from proteins in your meal.
Additionally, some nutrients and substances present in food could potentially bind with nattokinase or inhibit its absorption, further reducing its effectiveness. To maximize the benefits of nattokinase, it’s generally recommended to take it 30 minutes before a meal or at least two hours after a meal. As always, follow the instructions provided on the supplement label and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding dosage and timing.
Are There Any Dangers or Side Effects to Taking Nattokinase?
While nattokinase is generally considered safe for most people, there are some potential side effects and precautions to be aware of. The most common side effects are usually mild and may include gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, stomach pain, or diarrhea. However, these side effects often subside as the body adjusts to the supplement.
There are some specific concerns and precautions to consider when taking nattokinase:
- Bleeding risk: Nattokinase has blood-thinning properties, which can increase the risk of bleeding, especially in people with bleeding disorders or those taking blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, aspirin, or clopidogrel. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before using nattokinase in these circumstances.
- Surgery: Due to its blood-thinning effects, it’s recommended to stop taking nattokinase at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding.
- Allergies: People with soy allergies or sensitivity should avoid nattokinase, as it is derived from fermented soybeans.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is not enough information on the safety of nattokinase during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It’s best to avoid using it during these periods or consult with a healthcare professional before taking it.
As with any supplement, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting nattokinase, especially if you have any existing medical conditions or are taking other medications. They can help assess your situation, provide personalized advice, and ensure that nattokinase is safe and appropriate for you.
The Best Nattokinase Supplement
According to Amazon, the most popular nattokinase supplement is the Doctor’s best brand. It has the recommended 2,000 FUs in one capsule. A very slightly less expensive option is the Nutricost brand. Another brand I really like is “now” – They are a high quality brand in general and have a very good reputation. All 3 are reputable brands and, with over 4.5 star ratings, would likely be a good choice.
Click on the below links to check the current price:
- Doctor’s Best Nattokinase – 90 Servings
- nutricost Nattokinase – 120 Servings
- now Nattokinase – 60 Servings
Nattokinase is an enzyme that shows promise for fat loss and muscle growth for bodybuilders. While we do not yet have enough scientific evidence to say definitively that nattokinase provides all the benefits bodybuilders are seeking, it can certainly be beneficial to incorporate it into your diet in moderation to take advantage of any potential benefits.
It is important to always consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement, and to make sure your diet contains enough protein and nutrient-rich foods to support muscle growth. Nattokinase should be used as a supplement, not a replacement, and as with any supplement, you should start with a lower dose and increase it gradually as your body adjusts.