Japanese food culture is characterized by a large number of fish dishes and the use of seasonal ingredients. The Japanese archipelago is surrounded by warm or cold currents depending on the season, which affects which species of fish travel near land and are caught. Although the highest-profile method of Japanese fish preparation is to eat it raw as sashimi or sushi, fish can be prepared variously through grilling, boiling, pickling, frying, simmering in soup, or mincing. Fish to be heated is cooked with fermented seasonings such as miso, soy sauce, sake lees and vinegar. Because of the warm and humid weather in summer, since ancient times, fish have been preserved through pickling rather than drying. When fish is cooked or processed, umami compounds are generated in the meat, improving the taste. However, beyond the meat, the skin, bones, and internal organs can be cooked and eaten as well. There is scientific basis behind each of these traditional cooking methods, and the continuation of these dietary habits constitutes the food culture of Japan.
We investigated alterations in the quality of misozuke and sakekasuzuke prepared with sablefish, traditional processing and cooking methods whereby fish meat is cured in miso or sakekasu (sake lees), respectively. SDS-PAGE patterns of the fish meat revealed protein decomposition during preservation by the enzymes present in miso or sakekasu. We analyzed the levels of free amino acids in sablefish misozuke and sakekasuzuke using an amino acid analyzer. The amino acids found in miso and sakekasu permeated the fish meat and altered the amino acid composition, significantly increasing the umami amino acid content. Further, the meat texture was measured using a creep meter. While the texture of cooked misozuke fish was very firm; less firm than that observed in heated sakekasuzuke. It is proposed that the fish flavor and palatability can be explained by the synergistic effects between miso or sakekasuzuke and the unique fish flavors.
Lactobacillus fermented soybean (FS) is expected to affect the lipid metabolism by inhibiting lipogenesis and lipid absorption. In the present study, we investigated the effect of FS on lipid metabolism in rats fed a high fat diet. Male Sprague-Dawley rats, aged 5 weeks, were randomly divided into 3 groups (n = 6 each) as follows: CO (40% high fat diet), SOY (high fat diet including 5% non-fermented soybean powder) and FS (high fat diet including 5% FS powder). After 4 weeks, there were no significant differences in the body weight, food intake and tissue weights (liver, perirenal and epididymal fat) among the 3 groups. Plasma and hepatic triglyceride levels were significantly decreased in FS intake. On the other hands, fecal triglyceride was not significantly effect in FS intake. Next, we analyzed the expression of key genes controlling TAG metabolism in the liver. Hepatic GPAT gene expression was significantly decreased in FS intake. However, hepatic ACC, SREBP-1c and ChREBP gene expression was not significantly effect in FS intake. Hepatic SHP gene expression was significantly increased in FS intake, and there was a negative correlation between the SHP and GPAT gene expression. Thus, these results suggest that the decreasing in hepatic GPAT gene expression is associated with SHP. Nrf2 is one of the transcriptional factors regulating SHP expression. Thus, we investigated whether Nrf2 activity was enhanced by FS intake. Nrf2 protein and gene expression were not significantly effect in FS intake. Conversely, nuclear Nrf2 abundance ,increased in FS intake. Furthermore, hepatic GSTT3, Nrf2 target gene, were significantly increased in FS intake. These results indicate that FS reduces the plasma and hepatic lipids via activation of Nrf2/SHP pathway.
In this study, we evaluated the intestinal microbiota in order to provide scientific evidence about the reality of living habits, bowel habits and eating habits of nursery infants at the rural nursery center in Fukuoka Prefecture. We also evaluated the intestinal microbiota about the individual constitution by “YAKUZEN” based on Chinese medical science.
The study was conducted from December 2011 to March 2012. A total of 86 infants were studied, and written consent was obtained for all of the subjects.
The analysis of the intestinal microbiota was performed using Nagashima’s method of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism.
When compared by feeding method, the Bifidobacteria percentages (mean ± standard error) in the intestinal microbiota were 10.4 ± 6.2%, 12.8 ± 8.5%, and 19.9 ± 8.5% in infants who were the breast-fed only group, breast-fed and bottle-fed group, and bottle-fed only group, respectively, and was significantly higher in those who were in the bottle-fed only group. When the individual constitution of Chinese medical science by the feeding method was compared, the proportion of normal quality was the highest in the breast-fed only group, and breast-fed and bottle-fed group.
Based on the relationship between the breast-fed and the individual constitutions, it became clear that the mother’s meal and nutritional balance condition has a significant relation to the health of children and breast-feeding.
With its large population, the prospect of an aging society have recently been identified as a major concern in China. We considered that the lifestyle of university students influences their health during their school years and later in life. An anonymous questionnaire was conducted, aimed at providing an understanding of the lifestyles and self-esteem levels of university students. It was administered between March and July 2015, to 406 female Chinese university students in three Chinese communities. These included 150 students in Hohhot (Inner Mongolia), 175 in Shanghai, and 81 in Dalian.
Overall, it was a desirable lifestyle to have few students who consumed alcohol and smoked. However, 32.8% (133/406) of the students were underweight (BMI < 18.5), 21.9% (89/406) exercised, and 45.1% (183/406) used the Internet for more than three hours a day.
The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) score of the 406 students was 29.14 ± 4.04. A residual analysis revealed that a significantly greater number of Hohhot students gave first preference to the university than did the Shanghai students. The RSES score of the Hohhot students was lower than that of the Shanghai students.
In total, 21.9% (89/406) of the students in Hohhot, Shanghai, and Darian had exercise habits, while 10.0% (15/150) of the students in Hohhot and 34.3% (60/175) in Shanghai exercised.
Overall, 53.7% (218/406) of the students in the three communities belonged to after-school activities, while 41.3% (62/150) of the students in Hohhot and 64.0% (112/175) in Shanghai were involved in such activities. The analysis also showed that the Hohhot and Shanghai students' performance was significantly lower and higher respectively, in exercise habits and after-school activities.
Overall, 14.5% (59/406) of the students had part-time work, while 10.0% (15/150), 22.9% (40/175), and 4.9% (4/81) of the students in Hohhot, Shanghai and Dalian worked, respectively. Dalian had the fewest students doing part-time work.
We investigated some characteristics of the age-related meal intake tendency of Japanese in comparison with that of Americans.
1 The intake amount of energy of Japanese was highest between 15 and 19 years old. It showed a decrease in their 20s, and it did almost no change until when they become 60s. But the amount showed a decrease again in their 70s. The intake amount of energy of male Americans was highest around their 30s and showed a tendency to decrease with age. As for female Americans, the intake amount of energy kept lower than males.
2 As for the Japanese, the intake of fishery products exceeded that of poultry at the age of approximately 50. And it kept increasing after that.
3 The intake of vegetables of Japanese showed an increase with age. There was little difference between male and female in the amount of vegetable intake.
4 The intake of beans of Japanese showed a drastic increase with age. There was also little difference between male and female in the intake of beans.
5 The intake of fruit of Japanese showed a drastic increase in their 30s and after that with women taking more fruit than men. Although the intake of food as to Americans showed a decrease in accordance with the decline of their physical strength, the intake of fruit did not show any decrease with age.
6 The foods (fishery products, vegetables and pulses), which intake amount Japanese increase with age, are good in nutrition, and will prevent lifestyle-related diseases. In recent years, however, the intake of the above food groups is decreasing in Japan, and so it is really important to utilize various ingredients and to succeed to traditional food.