Strokes used to be known as a threat only to people over the age of 65. That's not true anymore. Now everyone is at risk. In fact, between 2000 and 2014, the number of people in the 20-64 age group hospitalized for stroke went up by 25%. And strokes among those between 40 and 64 went up 46%. But you don't have to suffer from blood clots at any age.
The big jump in risk is a bit surprising. Smoking used to be one of the major causes of strokes. And smoking rates continue to drop. So why is the stroke risk going up when smoking rates are coming down? Jon Barrick, the CEO of the UK's Stroke Association, says, "There are now real concerns that excess weight could replace smoking as the major killer of adults in the near future." Our sedentary lifestyles and the massive increase in obesity is the main reason more people are at risk for having a stroke. That's not surprising.
That means the best way to avoid a stroke is to get up and exercise. Keeping your blood flowing keeps it from clotting and causing strokes. However, that's not all you can do to prevent strokes.
I've told you in the past about studies showing how nattokinase can prevent strokes from happening in the first place. Nattokinase is a potent fibrinolytic enzyme that comes from the fermented soybean cheese Natto. Just how powerful is this nutrient? New research suggests that not only can it prevent strokes, but it can even reverse the damage caused by a stroke.
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In this study, the researchers started with both in vitro and in vivo studies and found that nattokinase had effective "fibrinolytic activity and thrombolytic effects." That just means it broke up blood clots and prevented them from forming. So the researchers wanted to know if nattokinase would have any effect after a stroke.
So the researchers induced a stroke in mice and treated them with nattokinase at one hour, two hours, and four hours prior to the stroke. They found that the nattokinase clearly shortened the amount of time needed to dissolve a blood clot. It also cleared the vessels and improved blood flow through the brain. What's more, the researchers found that the nattokinase protected the brain from further damage.
Studies are showing that nattokinase should play a significant role in our stroke-prevention protocols. But nattokinase is great for more than just preventing strokes. It helps encourage better overall circulation, normalizes blood pressure, and protects your heart and blood vessels from damage.
The only caveat with nattokinase is that you shouldn't take it with aspirin. It has many of the same benefits as aspirin, without the negative side effects, such as internal bleeding. However, taking the two together can thin your blood too much and make internal bleeding much worse. But there's really no reason to take the two together. I just take the nattokinase in Advanced Natto Formula.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.