From Samurai to Salaryman - Wonders of Natto

Released on: August 4, 2008, 10:15 pm

Press Release Author: James Bulmer / H.E.C. Group International

Industry: International Trade

Press Release Summary: Does an ancient, traditional food save thousands of Japanese
lives each year?

Press Release Body: Osaka, Japan, August 5th: America and Europe have a very high
rate of deaths due to Cardiovascular Disease each year. In fact according to the
European Heart Network cardiovascular disease remains the main cause of death in the
EU; and in America states that the rate for deaths amongst men
in 2007 was 289 per 100,000 and women 150 per 100,000. This is compared to Japan
which has a much lower rate (one of the lowest in the world) with 170 per 100,000
men, and 69 per 100,000 women.

And yet, Japan has a higher percentage of smokers than America (21%) and many
countries in Europe including the UK (24%), with 26%, that's about 33million people.
Why is this? Some people believe it's due to the health giving effects of an ancient
and traditional daily Japanese food, Natto.

Natto has been eaten in Japan for over 1000 years, and legend has it was discovered
during a battle campaign waged by a great samurai Minamoto no Yoshiie in
northeastern Japan in 1083. His soldiers were attacked while boiling soybeans for
their horses, and quickly packed the beans in straw in their bags. A few days later
the beans had fermented, they ate them, and liked the taste. One source puts it's
origin even further back in time to the Jomon period, between 10,000BC and 300BC!

Regardless of its origin, natto has been consumed on a daily basis by millions of
Japanese from Samurai to Salarymen (the Japanese word for business men), for its
nutritional and health benefits. However, the food has a very distinctive smell
often compared to strong cheese, and a strong flavour and sticky consistency that
makes it unappealing to a Western consumer.

Medical research has shown that natto contains an enzyme called Nattokinase which
can reduce blood clotting, improve blood circulation and may also have a cholesterol
lowering effect. It also contains a large quantity of Vitamin K2 which assists in
the formation of bones and preventing osteoporosis. As well as many chemicals
alleged to prevent cancer such as daidzein and genistein.

Nattokinase was discovered by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi of Japan while conducting research
at Chicago University in 1980. It was shown to have 4 times greater fibrinolytic
activity than plasmin. Plasmin is the naturally occurring enzyme in the body that
breaks down fibrin, the enzyme that causes blood clotting. As we get older however,
the amount of plasmin produced by the body decreases. Nattokinase supports the
body's production of plasmin and thus can help to fight blood clots.

H.E.C. Group International of Japan export worldwide a highly active and high
quality Nattokinase powder developed by Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi for use as an ingredient
of health food, supplements and food additives. For more details please contact

H.E.C. Group International has been importing and exporting quality original
Japanese and international products since 1979. H.E.C. Group maintain an expansive
lineup of products such as health goods and beauty products.

For more information please contact:
James Bulmer at

Web Site:

Contact Details: H.E.C. Group International
10F Umeda-Yachiyo-Bld, 2-22 Taiyuji-cho
Kita-ku, Osaka,530-0051,Japan
Phone: (81)-6-6361-8639
Fax: (81)-6-6314-2229

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