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The Secret Power of Japanese Cuisine: Fighting Liver Fibrosis

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Researchers analyzed the relationship between meals rated by the 12-component modified Japanese Diet Index (mJDI12), muscle mass, and liver fibrosis progression in 136 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) attending the Osaka Metropolitan University Hospital.

It is also important to consume soy products, seafood, and seaweed.

Japanese cuisine has gained worldwide popularity and has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. The “12-component modified Japanese Diet Index (mJDI12)” is a scoring system that evaluates adherence to the traditional Japanese diet pattern, including 12 food and food groups: rice, miso soup, pickles, soy products, green and yellow vegetables, fruits, seafood, mushrooms, seaweed, green tea, coffee, and beef and pork. The scores range from 0 to 12, with higher scores reflecting a diet that closely aligns with the Japanese dietary pattern.

A team of researchers, headed by Dr. Hideki Fujii M.D. and Associate Professor Yoshinari Matsumoto at Osaka Metropolitan University, conducted a study examining the connection between mJDI12-rated meals, muscle mass, and the progression of liver fibrosis in 136 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) who were receiving treatment at Osaka Metropolitan University Hospital.

The research group found the following: the group with a higher mJDI12 showed a lower degree of liver fibrosis progression. Moreover, among the Japanese diet patterns, a high intake of soy products, seafood, and seaweed showed a suppressive effect on liver fibrosis progression. In addition, the group with a higher intake of soy products had higher muscle mass, and the group with higher muscle mass had a lower degree of liver fibrosis progression.

“This study indicates that the Japanese diet pattern may be effective as a dietary treatment for NAFLD patients. We hope that further intervention studies will lead to the establishment of an effective diet for those patients,” concluded Professor Matsumoto.

Reference: “Severity of Liver Fibrosis Is Associated with the Japanese Diet Pattern and Skeletal Muscle Mass in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease” by Yoshinari Matsumoto, Hideki Fujii, Mika Harima, Haruna Okamura, Yoshimi Yukawa-Muto, Naoshi Odagiri, Hiroyuki Motoyama, Kohei Kotani, Ritsuzo Kozuka, Etsushi Kawamura, Atsushi Hagihara, Sawako Uchida-Kobayashi, Masaru Enomoto, Yoko Yasui, Daiki Habu and Norifumi Kawada, 26 February 2023, Nutrients.
DOI: 10.3390/nu15051175

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