The Japanese secret that reduces the risk of dying from anything (well, almost)

Soy, in many shapes, sizes, and preparations, is widely consumed in Japan.

Some of the most notable of these are natto (soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis), miso (soybeans fermented with Aspergillus oryzae), and tofu (soybean curd that’s not fermented).

Yet, there’s been very little research into whether these soy products have any specific health benefits and whether or not fermentation makes a difference.

So Japanese researchers set out to investigate… for nearly 15 years!

During that time, the research team studied almost 53,000 people between the ages of 45 and 74 years and looked into their lifestyle, health status, and most particularly, their dietary habits.

And, the results will make you want to say…

‘Pass the miso’ to reduce the risk of death of anything by 10 percent

That’s because the researchers found that a higher intake of fermented soy (natto and miso) was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Just eating fermented soy products on a regular basis could lower your risk of dying from anything by a full 10 percent!

The same association was not found when it came to non-fermented soy products, like tofu.

Need a little more prodding to incorporate these fermented soy foods into your daily diet? Well, how about this…

Americans could benefit big time from fermented soy

One of the biggest factors that can end your life early is heart disease. In fact, cardiovascular disease alone kills one person every 37 seconds in the United States.

The research team found that men and women who ate natto also had a lower risk of cardiovascular death than those who skipped it.

According to the teams, the lower risk of death overall, and less death due to cardiac factors could be due to the fact that fermented soy products are far richer in nutrients. In addition to heart-healthy fiber and potassium, natto has more bioactive compounds than non-fermented soy.

For starters, natto is rich in vitamin K, which is widely recognized for regulating calcium in the body by helping to channel it to the bones and keeping it out of the arteries where it can lead to plaques.

But perhaps the biggest deal about natto is that it contains an enzyme called nattokinase — only produced during the fermentation process — which is believed to guard against clots.

When you consider all of that, it’s a no-brainer that going fermented could be good for the heart and is probably a big reason why the Japanese are known for living long healthy lives.

And let’s not forget about a steamy, hot bowl of miso…

As my colleague, Joyce Hollman, reported in 5 Japanese secrets for a long, disease-free life, “Eating miso soup has been linked to lowered blood pressure, despite the salt content. Researchers believe the salt in miso may behave differently from our table salt, due to the fermentation process.

“The prolonged fermentation needed to produce miso has also been proven to have protective effects against cancer and the radiation used to treat it.”

Personally, I prefer miso soup over natto. I haven’t been able to get used to natto’s rather funky flavor. Thankfully it’s available in supplement form.

Lots of anecdotal evidence supports fermentation as health-promoting. That means you could start adding other fermented foods to your menu regularly, like…

  • Yogurt – may help lower the rate of diabetes.
  • Sauerkraut — rich in probiotics, it’s a great digestion and immune health booster
  • Chungkookjang (a Korean fermented soybean paste) – a good way to reduce obesity risk
  • Kimchi (a Korean form of pickle) – reported to help keep blood sugar in the healthy range and lower diabetes risk

So, when you think of good health, heart disease protection, and a long life, think fermented foods. They’re valuable tools in your battle against disease and your quest to live longer.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


  1. Heart Disease Facts — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Scientists want you to eat this fabulously healthy food — Easy Health Options®
  3. 5 Japanese secrets for a long, disease-free life — Easy Health Options®
  4. Fermented soy products linked to lower risk of death — EurekAlert
Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is founder of the nutritional supplement company Peak Pure & Natural®.