Gut Health: Natto

Natto is a traditional food usually consumed at Japanese breakfast tables together with miso soup, fish, and rice. Tofu, tempeh, miso and natto are all whole food forms of soybean.  The key to natto’s health benefits is that it is fermented.

Natto is rich in probiotics. Bacillus subtilis, (also referred to as Bacillus uniflagellatus, Bacillus globigii, and Bacillus natto), is the bacteria added to soybeans and then left to ferment in order to create natto. It’s key function is that it produces enzymes, which are used to reduce blood clotting and produces vitamin K and B vitamins.


Research conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information reveals that supplemental Bacillus subtilis improves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It is also used for:

  • Treating gastrointestinal conditions.
  • Prevent allergic disorders.
  • Fight cancer.
  • Increasing immune reaction of intestinal cells.

Subsequently, when natto is eaten on a regular basis, these are some of the more common health benefits you can expect:

  • Effective against high cholesterol.
  • Effective against osteoporosis and hip fractures.
  • Fights against fibromyalgia.
  • Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
  • Less risk of colon cancer.
  • Less risk of breast cancer (as soy appears to lengthen the menstrual cycle).
  • Prevents stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
  • Prevents vitamin-deficiency disease.
  • Reduces the symptoms associated with menopause.
  • Relieves constipation.