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Friday, 9th April 2010
In General Japan News,

Sushi digesting bacteria found in Japanese

Those who regularly eat sushi could be benefiting from a type of bacteria which helps to break down the seaweed often used in the delicacy.

Researchers from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris looked into how the bacteria found in the human stomach could change depending on our diets.

When the stomachs of Japanese volunteers were looked at, they were found to contain high levels of a certain bacteria known to live on seaweed, which could be helping lovers of sushi digest the fish delicacy.

A total of 11 genes used by the bacteria to break down carbohydrates were also found.

However, when volunteers from North America had their stomachs tested, no such bacteria was discovered.

One of the lead researchers, Mirjam Czjzek, said: "This gives us a hint at how the diversity of bacteria we have in our guts arises and evolves. What we eat and how we prepare it can have an influence on our microflora."

Many visitors to Japan may mistakenly think that sushi is raw fish but this is actually known as sashimi. Sushi refers to the rice used in sushi dishes.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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