Advances in probiotics research for healthcare

(Kyoto, Japan, 27 April 2018) Clinical trials by researchers at Nitto Pharma, Kyoto, using fatty acid (HYA) derived from probiotic bacteria show potential health benefits in treating metabolic disorders. Nitto Pharma will present their latest findings on this research at the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) Meeting, 6-9 May 2018, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


Nitto Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.

American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS) Meeting, 6-9 May 2018, Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Session where Nitto Pharma will make the presentation: Biotechnology BIO 2.1 : H&N 2: Dietary Lipids and the Gut Microbiota

Date: Tuesday 8th May, 2018
Time: 7:55


Metabolic syndrome is a set of conditions including obesity and hypertension that could potentially lead to heart disease and diabetes. Reported cases of metabolic syndrome worldwide are rising due to changes in diets, insufficient physical exercise, and work related stress induced.

Research on metabolic syndrome often focusses on postprandial hyperglycemia—the state of high blood sugar in the body after eating a meal— that has harmful effects on the body, including blocking blood vessels and increasing risks of heart attack. These cumulative risks are referred to as ‘hidden diabetes’ and there are increasing demands for new approaches to both prevent and treat hyperglycemia as concerns grow about metabolic syndrome in public health.

Now, 10- hydroxy- cis– 12- octadecenoic acid (HYA) is a fatty acid derived due to the metabolic action of lactic acid bacteria. These ‘friendly’ bacteria are referred to as ‘probiotics’ because the products of their metabolism in the human digestive system have potential health benefits for treating human aliments. Notably, such probiotic bacteria are found in food such as yogurt, kefir, and Japanese miso soup. Furthermore, in experiments using mice, HYA prevented colon conditions including colitis.

With this background, researchers at Nitto Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. (Nitto Pharma), Kyoto, Japan are exploring the potential of using HYA for the prevention and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

In a recent study, the researchers selected a cohort of 60 male and female subjects with a propensity for postprandial hyperglycemia. The subjects were given capsules containing either low or high doses of HYA or placebos followed by regimented meals, once a week for three weeks. The subjects received a different treatment each week to ensure that each subject received all three treatments. Finally, the researchers measured the blood glucose and insulin levels before and after 30, 60, 90, 120 minutes of consuming meal.

Team leader Yasunori Yonejima at Nitto Pharma, and his colleagues observed that the blood glucose levels were much lower for subjects who had taken both doses of HYA than people from placebo groups. These effects were observed within 30 minutes and lasted for up to 60 minutes. Glucose levels after 60 minutes saturated in all subjects and Insulin levels were also lower for both HYA treatments at the same measurement time intervals.

On the other hand, transient adverse events were observed in just 5 subjects, suggesting HYA to be safe for consumption at the doses used in these clinical trials.

“These results suggest that HYA can inhibit the elevation of postprandial blood glucose levels and may have the effect in preventing diabetes mellitus”, the researchers conclude.

Since HYA is synthesized from a dietary fatty acid by well classified probiotic bacteria, the importance of the composition of gut bacteria and diet in combatting metabolic syndrome is another important finding from this research.


Yasunori Yonejima1 Masato Urushihara1, Kohei Kitao1, and Kenichi Furihata2. Effects of the Intake of HYA-containing Food on Postprandial Hyperglycemia: A Randomized, Placebo-controlled, Double-blind Crossover Trial. Progress in Medicine, 37:1105–1111, (2017).


  1. Research and Development Department, Nitto Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., 35-3 Minamibiraki, Kamiueno-cho, Muko, Kyoto 617-0006, Japan.
  2. P-One Clinic, Keikokai Medical Corporation, View Tower Hachioji 4F, 8-1 Yokamachi Hachioji City, Tokyo, 192-0071, Japan.


Further information
Public Relations & Design Section
Nitto Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd.,
35-3 Minamibiraki, Kamiueno-cho, Muko 617-0006, Japan
Phone: +81-75-921-5303
About Nitto Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. (Nitto Pharma), Kyoto, Japan
Established in 1947, Nitto Pharma is located in a quiet residential area about 30-minutes by train from Kyoto Station. The company is surrounded by narrow cobbled streets lined with Sakura trees and the view from the entrance of the company’s premises is one of carefully mown lawns surrounded by many varieties of flowers and plants. Visitors find the view more like a flower garden than the hub of cutting-edge research at one Japan’s leading biopharmaceutical companies.

The nature and beauty of our premises underscores the company’s of motto of being a ‘Family-friendly Company’ aiming to contribute to the wellbeing of our employees and humanity’s health and happiness. This is the philosophy at the heart of the ‘NOSTER’ brand for biopharmaceutical medicinal and nutritional products.

Nitto Pharma has always believed that they “want to save people as many people as possible who are ill, with the power of microorganisms”. Nitto Pharma has confidence that they can achieve this goal if they can extract the limitless power possessed by microorganisms. The global biotechnology brand ‘NOSTER’ is the driving force for advancing this believe.

The NOSTER brand underscores the desire of all the staff at Nitto Pharma—an innovative biopharmaceutical company based in Kyoto, Japan—to contribute to the treatment of people suffering from diseases. Nitto Pharma has continued to conduct research and development of microorganisms since 1947 in cooperation with many kinds of universities and research institutes based on the stance that microorganisms have a lot to teach us about what is good for the human body that they have helped create.

Human beings maintain life with amazing balance, but it is not appreciated that it is the close complementary relationship with microorganisms that plays an important role in maintaining this balanced life. For Nitto Pharma the deep recognition that microorganisms are indispensable partners for healthy living is “our origin”; a belief that will never change.