Conclusion of the Studies of Positive Effects of Food on the Victims of the Atomic Bombings of 1945

Miso and its Biological Effects

By: Hiromitsu Watanabe, PhD

Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University


A traditional ingredient of the Japanese diet, miso (fermented soy bean paste), is fermented from soybeans, rice, wheat, or oats. It contains vitamins, microorganisms, salts, minerals, plant proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. Miso also contains saponin inhibiting lipids peroxide, trypsin inhibitor, isoflavon, lecithin, colin, prostaglandin E and others1). It is used on a daily basis as a flavor in soup and solid food in Japan and other parts of Asia and remains an essential ingredient for Japanese-style cooking. Even though miso has no equal in the West, Western cooks familiar with miso prize it for its almost unlimited versatility. It can be used like bouillon,as a rich meat stock in soups and stews2). It is considered as a food with health-promoting benefits, such as effectiveness in relieving fatigue, regulation of the intestinal function, digestive supplement, protection against gastric ulcer, decrease of cholesterol, decrease of blood pressure, whitening ability, prevention of diseases associated with adult lifestyle habits, apoplexia cerebri, accumulation of brain metabolism, protection of aging, healing radiation damage and prevention of cancers for biological effects.

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Good Miso: It's All About the Journey

Some words from Dr. George W. Yu:

I am thrilled that this project on Miso probiotics story is finally coming to completion after its beginning in 2003. I met Anna Bond in 2003 who introduced me to the story of Dr. Tatsuichiro Akizuki who was the Medical Director of Saint Francis Hospital, only two kilometer from the epicenter of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb blast. I met Dr. Hiromitsu Watanabe of the Department of Radiation Biology at the Hiroshima Medical Center in 2003 and 2004, and he generously shared with me extensive basic science research on Miso and its protective effect on radiation injury as well as protection from solid tumors in animals. His work showed that 180 days old Miso had the most potent effect, freeze-dried had the same therapeutic effect as live Miso paste, and that sea salts did not lead to hypertension.

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Health Condition and Diet: The Way to Health

By: Dr. Tatsuichiro Akizuki and Translated by: Hiroko Furo, Ph.D


I am not a scientist who stays in a lab and does scientific research all the time. Neither am I a scientific scholar who publishes one scholarly article after another. It has been more than 30 years since I got into the field of medicine, and during those years I have been examining my patients as well as getting sick myself. After examining numerous patients and children of physically weak constitutions, I became painfully aware of the difficulty of curing sickness and diseases as well as finding their causes. I have since been thinking about problems such as condition, constitution and diet. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of our daily diet to our health and, consequently, the degree of sickness and effects of medication and its ability to cure. After conducting much research on various healing diets, I finally found Miso, which I realized was the basis of the Japanese diet. This is the traditional food that has been passed from generation to generation in Japan and is fit to the condition and constitution of the Japanese people. It likens to the path of philosophers in the West as well as those in the East. Miso started far before the origin of science, and its beneficial effect is something that should be proved scientifically.

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Dietary Practice of Hiroshima/Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors

By: Hiroko Furo, Ph.D


In August of 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima and the second in Nagasaki, leading to Japan's unconditional surrender and the end of the Pacific War between the U.S. and Japan. These bombs instantly killed at least 12,000 people and injured more than 100,000. Although most of the people within a two kilometer radius from the hypocenter died from direct or indirect exposure to atomic bomb blast and radiation, some did not suffer from diseases related to the radiation and are still alive at present. Then, the question we might ask is, "Why did these people survive while others did not?"

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