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Nattokinase is an enzyme extracted and purified from a Japanese food called Natto. Natto is a cheese-like food made from fermented soybeans that has been eaten in Japan for many years. It is rumored to be a remedy for heart and vascular diseases. Natto is produced by fermentation by adding the bacterium Bacillus natto, a beneficial bacteria, to boiled soybeans. The resulting nattokinase enzyme is produced when the bacterium acts on the soybeans. While other soy foods contain enzymes, it is only the natto preparation that contains the specific nattokinase enzyme.

According to legend, the warrior Minamoto no Yoshiie found boiled soybeans that had been left on straw and had fermented. That was the discovery of Natto. By the end of the Edo period (1603-1867), Natto had become a regular part of Japanese culture in some areas. Some believe that Natto (and, by extension, Nattokinase) may play a role in the lower overall incidence of cardiovascular disease in Japan.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nattokinase". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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