Yasunori Yonejima / Research Scientist, Nitto Pharma

Yasunori Yonejima
Research Scientist, Nitto Pharma

Yasunori Yonejima and colleagues are conducting research on useful microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria. “We have already commercialized four species of lactic acid bacteria, bacillus natto, butyric acid bacteria and bifidobacteria as probiotics,” says Yonejima. “We are still searching for new active bacteria as a life work.” In addition, Nitto researchers are looking into postbiotics, namely, metabolites of bacteria.

HYA is a postbiotic. It is produced from the linoleic acid commonly contained in vegetable oil by metabolism of lactic acid bacteria. Nitto Pharma has conducted clinical trials on human subjects with high blood glucose levels after eating a meal. The results confirmed that HYA has the effect of suppressing blood glucose after eating.

In addition, Yonejima and colleagues have discovered that HYA exhibits several physiological activities such as anti-inflammation, intestinal barrier protection, and specific antibacterial activity.

Also, Nitto Pharma has produced polysaccharides by lactic acid bacteria that is a postbiotics bacteria. It undergoes metabolism in the intestine by intestinal bacteria, converting into short chain fatty acid and causes metabolism improving action. Notably, it also acts on the immune system and induces IgA secretion.

“We are continuing to study diverse physiological activities of probiotics and postbiotics that can be utilized as various foods and medicines,” says Yonejima.