1.8†† Health Benefits of Sake and Sakekasu
Sakekasu is rich in minerals, microbiotics, proteins and enzymes. Many astonishing benefits of sake and sakekasu are described in the book titled "Striking benefits of sakekasu" in Japanese edited by Yukio Takizawa, MD. Not only that sakekasu has the most benefits of sake but also it has additional benefits because of the rich enzymes and proteins that sake does not have.† These benefits are available without drinking alcohol.† Sakekasu is food but not a drug, so there is no side effects at all.† In the remainder of the present section, brief summaries of benefits are introduced.
Benefits known from research
Sake prevents liver cancer: Statistical data in Japan indicate that the death rates due to cirrhosis liver (hardening) and liver cancer are low in Tohoku district in Japan where the consumption rate of sake is the highest.† Also experiments indicates that the growth rate of human cancer cells is suppressed by condensed essence of sake, but no whisky and brandy have such effect.† Which chemical substances in sake are responsible to this is still a subject of research.
Most chemical and radiation therapies kill both cancer cells and healthy cells. They also decrease lymphocytes, the natural inhibitors of cancer cells.† A better way of fighting against cancer is to activate NK cells or LAK cells.† Professor Okada of Aichi University, Japan, has found that sakekasu increases the effects of NK lymphocytes that kill cancer cells.† More recent medical research indicates that sake and sakekasu both include such substances that inhibits the cells of bladder cancer, prostrate cancer and uterus cancer.† The best part of sakekasu is that it is a food and has no side effects.
Stress reduction: Sake like other alcoholic beverages removes stress, promotes appetite, and smoothens human relations.
Sake increases good cholesterol: Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the blood stream and in all cells in the body. It is an important part of a healthy body because it is used to form cell membranes, some hormones and other needed tissues. Cholesterol level is thought to be high if higher than 240mg/dl, alert if in the range between 200 and 239, desirable if less than 200.†
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the major cholesterol carrier in the blood. When a person has too much LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood, it can slowly build up within the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain. The formation of a clot (or thrombus) in the region of this plaque can block the flow of blood to part of the heart muscle and cause a heart attack. If a clot blocks the blood flow to the brain, the result is a stroke. A high level of LDL cholesterol reflects an increased risk of heart disease. That is why LDL cholesterol is often called "bad" cholesterol. About one-third to one-fourth of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoprotein (HDL).† HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where itís passed from the body. Some experts believe HDL removes excess cholesterol from atherosclerotic plaques and thus slows their growth. HDL is known as "good" cholesterol because a high level of HDL seems to protect against heart attack.
Sake not only helps HDL cholesterol to remove LDL cholesterol accumulated in the blood vessels by transporting to liver and decomposes, but also increases HDL cholesterol.
Body warming: Sake keeps body warm longer than other alcoholic beverages.† Figure 1.4 compares the body temperatures, green curve after drinking 3 cups of sake, red curve after drinking 5 cups of diluted whisky [Takizawa]. It is found sake keeps body warm at a much higher body temperature than whisky.† The warmer temperature means a better blood circulation in the body, particularly in brain.
††††††† Figure 1.4† Body temperature after drinking
Expansion of blood vessels for better blood circulation: As one gets older, the blood vessels become hardened and easily clogged. As a consequence, blood circulation in capillaries is hindered.† Sake stimulates heart and, at the same time, expands blood vessels to assist smooth circulation.† Sake also increases urokinase, and decreases trokisanchin-A2 that helps coagulate blood.
Diabetes: The sugar in the blood is converted to fat by insulin.† There are two kinds of diabetes, one is due to an insufficient amount of insulin supplied, and another insufficient work of insulin. Therefore, the sugar level of the blood in the diabetes patient increases.† The sugar that is not absorbed in fat is discharged to urine.††
Human body has the hormones that have opposite effects of insulin, including growth hormone, and catecholamine.† Catecholamine is a hormone that includes adrenaline.† Adrenaline decomposes body fat and increases sugar in the blood that is opposite to insulin.† The current therapy for diabetes is either to increase insulin in the body by direct injection or to suppress the work of cathecholamine.† Sakekasu contains the insulin-like substance that resembles insulin and has indeed the same effects as insulin.†
High blood pressure: There is a report about a 67 years old man. He suffered high blood pressure for long time despite taking medicine to treat it, but was actually cured by eating sakekasu everyday for two months.
3 kinds of peptide were found in sake, while 6 in sakekasu.† Experiments with the rats that genetically have high blood pressure show that, a few days after they are fed with sakekasu, the blood pressure become lower.† Also injection of the peptide from sakekasu into the rats body is found to be as effective as the high blood pressure drug.† Of course sakekasu has no medical side effects.
Cerebral infarction: Cerebral infarction is caused by either hardening of cerebral blood vessels or coagulated blood carried from other parts of body particularly heart. It is triggered by high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and sometimes stress.††† Sakekasu has an enzyme to help production of urokinase, a substance to activate plasminogen that resolves coagulated blood in the blood vessel.†
Myocardial infarction (heart attack):† Sake reduces heart attack. Research indicates that the group of people who consume sake has a smaller rate of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and arteriosclerosis, and they live longer.
Pollen allergy as well as regular allergy: An allergic reaction including pollen allergy is basically the immune system gone haywire. In addition to attacking true enemies such as viruses and bacteria, the immune system of an allergic person also springs to action when an allergen is present. In response to the presence of the allergen, it attacks with antibodies called immunoglobulin-E(IgE). Different IgE antibodies are produced by an enzyme called cathepsins-B for each type of allergen, whether it's latex, pet dander, oak pollen or ragweed pollen.
Sake, koji and sakekasu include the enzyme called peptide that suppresses chathepsins-B.† A frequent eating of sakekasu is reported to cure the pollen allergy.†
Table 1.1†† How effective it is when sake is taken daily at proper quantity. http://www.konishi.co.jp/E/sake/
Osteoporosis: As one gets older, bones tend to become softer and porous.† This is caused by increases of chathepsins-L that decomposes bones.† Researchers at Gekkeikan Research Center discovered that three kinds of peptides that suppress the effects of chathepsins-L exist in sakekasu.† Researchers in University of California as well as those in University of Pittsburgh have found the sake's effect to strengthen bones.† Three to six cups of alcoholic beverage per week are found to increase estrogen and prevent osteoporosis of older women.††
Benefits known from folk's experience
Cure from burns and cuts: Workers of sake-breweries use sakekasu as medicine to cure burns and cuts.† They bake sakekasu on a grill over charcoal fire, and then after cooling it is put directly on the cuts or burns.† It is known that time of cure is significantly shorter than any other way.
Freckles:† In every sake brewery, the hands of the chief brewery worker are white and smooth.†† The reason is that his hands are often dipped in moromi (fermenting mach) before and during filtration.† Freckles are caused when the dorpacromine, produced by the reaction of chirosinaze and L-chirosin, changes to melamine. On the other hand, renol acid and albuchine† inhibit the reaction of chirosinaze. The renol acid exists in rice and is even abundant in sakekasu.†† Thus, sakekasu has the effects of keeping skin whitish and improves freckles.
Cure from Achilles' tendon injury with sake: A former baseball pitcher, Taniguchi, who used to play in Chunichi Dragons (professional baseball) team in Japan suffered from his injury at Achilles' tendon for a long time.† After he retired as a baseball player, he started a therapy of† massage on his Achilles' tendon with sake.† Not only he recovered thanks to his persistent practice of massage,† he came back as a pitcher and got the title of the top butter.
Chaps and cracks: A popular practice in brewery workers.† To cure chaps and cracks, sakesasu is softened with water and rub over chaps and cracks.† The skin not only heals quickly but becomes very smooth.
Sake or sakekasu bathing: Dipping in the hot bath with a cup or two of sake is popular among entertainers in Japan.† Sake can be replaced by sakekasu in the following way.†† Put a cup of sakekasu in a linen bag and drop in the bath tab.† The bag should be squeezed several times before or during bathing.† Rub body surface with the bag.† The skin becomes very smooth after bathing, and stays warm long after.†
 NK cells: natural killer cells (lymphocytes):
 LAK cells (lymphokine-activated killer)
 Plasminogen dissolves the fibrin of blood clots and acts as a proteolytic factor in a variety of other processes including embryonic development, tissue remodeling, tumor invasion and inflammation.
 The amino acids are linked linearly through peptide bonds.