This scientific study from 2015 shows that natto helps elderly people stay safe from respiratory infections. Quite a number of probiotics do the same. So if anybody had any doubts about whether natto really has been providing protection from coronavirus in the natto producing areas of Japan - as hinted at in the article in Japan Today - their doubts should now be dispelled.
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I've understood now. It is actually bacteria that turn a mild attack of coronavirus into a killer condition. What happens in severe cases is that the virus leaves the lungs defenceless to bacterial attack, and then the bacteria go in there and cause pneumonia. The bacteria can get through the lungs' defences because coronavirus has caused the destruction of the epithelial cells that line, and normally protect them.
So this is how natto protects you. You will notice, if you consume natto, that in a matter of hours this friendly bacteria has spread out from the gut and has taken up station in every corner of your body. You can tell this is so because in no time at all the unmistakable odour comes out in your poo and under your arms. If you were in need of a shower, you will be no longer because Bacillium subtilis natto will have overcome even the odour-producing bacteria under your arms.
To many, what has replaced the odour-producing bacteria will be even worse - but not to natto lovers such as me. People should control their likes and dislikes. If you know that something is good for you, you should simply love it unqualifiedly. Open your heart to it! The effect of this love is to alter your perception of the beloved. It is not true only of humans; it is true of food as well: what you love, you learn in time to like and in the end you can't live without it.
I have come across scientific research which reveals that the excretions of natto are selectively harmful to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Bacillus subtilis - which I find very odd because natto IS Bacillus subtilis, so how can it excrete substances that are harmful to itself? Nevertheless, it is interesting that it has a particular antagonism to the bacterium most associated with pneumonia - towards other bacteria it shows 'lesser antimicrobial activity'.
Pneumonia can be caused by a virus, a bacterium, a parasite or a fungus. In the case of a coronavirus infection, remember that the associated pneumonia is bacterial in nature, not viral. After the coronavirus has done its work, it is a bacterium that actually kills you. My guess is that it will usually be Streptococcus pneumoniae - the one that cannot stand up to natto.
There has been a lot of talk about probiotic bacteria in general not being able to get past the acid in your stomach - but what the scientists discovered was that five types of bacteria can and do survive past this point; five types of very ancient bacteria, that have been discovered alive in ice samples from millions of years ago. One of these five is natto.
If you still have any doubts about the power of natto, here is a passage from a scientific laboratory: 'B. subtilis has the ability to produce and secrete antibiotics. The genomic structure of this microorganism contains five signal peptidase genes that are important for the secretion of these antibiotics. B.subtilis has shown to be capable of secreting polymyxin, difficidin, subtilin, and mycobacillin.'
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I make natto at home frequently, but I do not do so in the way people promote on YouTube. Instead of having the oven on very low, I use an electric hotplate. I place one vessel inside another one, the inner one containing the steamed soya beans mixed with natto spores, the outer one containing water. I keep the water at 37-40 degrees C. It needs covering - a saucepan lid over the larger saucepan works fine, though make sure there is sufficient of this moist air for the fermenting bacteria to breathe.
At first I was very impatient and used to mix the spores in with the steamed beans when the beans were still very hot. I made great natto that way. Later on, I decided to be disciplined and wait till the beans had cooled to the right temperature - only to find that nothing happened, I couldn't make natto any more! Eventually I discovered a tip that you do have to put the spores in when the beans are very hot, in order to 'wake them up'. So impatience is sometimes a virtue! I went back to my old ways and was able to make natto again.
Another tip is: only soak the soya beans in unfiltered water. If you use an activated charcoal filter to purify your water and then this water comes into contact with the natto bacteria, it will significantly inhibit it. I proved this experimentally and have the photographs to show the difference.
I would be wary of eating bought natto because the preservative that they have to use reacts with vitamin C, and this is especially problematic in the case of the coronavirus outbreak since the primary defence against coronavirus is vitamin C. The preservative used in natto is E211, or Sodium Benzoate, and when this chemical combines with ascorbic acid, it leaves a benzene residue. Benzene is extremely toxic.
Natto is certainly incredibly antibacterial, and I like to think it might be antiviral and antiparasitic also, but there is a dearth of evidence supporting the latter conjecture. Anything which supports the lungs can only be helpful with coronavirus, however, and I believe nattokinase, which natto produces, is good for the lungs.
There is another, easy to understand way that natto can be helpful with viruses and other parasites: by killing off swathes of bad bacteria, it frees up resources for protecting you against viruses and parasites - and even cancer.
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