Heart disease symptoms such as angina pectoris, as well as heart attacks, are due to atherosclerosis (hardening) of the arteries. This atherosclerosis is hastened by increased cholesterol. The balance of good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL) is the key to preventing the development of atherosclerosis. Even if one’s total cholesterol is high, he can reduce the risk of getting atherosclerosis by increasing good cholesterol, which loosens the bad cholesterol sticking to blood vessels and takes it to the liver.
Several studies show that components from saké increase good cholesterol. In a study conducted by Dr. Watanabe from the Advanced Age Disease Research Institute in Japan, he found that the most good cholesterol in the group of people who drink more than 12 oz. of saké every day.
There is reason to believe there is a component in saké that actually lowers the sugar level in the blood, similar to insulin. Diabetes is a disease that increases the sugar level in the blood due to an insufficiency of the hormone insulin, which converts sugar in the blood to energy.
Professor Okuda from the Medical Department of Ehime University in Japan conducted research to study the connection between saké and diabetes. He injected a distilled extract of saké lees (produced after pressing the saké mash to get clear sake), into fat cells to see the reaction. He found that a component in saké lees allows fat cells to absorb blood sugar, thus lowering the level of sugar in the blood.
This insulin-like substance in saké lees contains adenosine, which promotes dilation of the arteries.
One definition of aging has to do with the deterioration of blood circulation. As you age, blood vessels get thinner and harder, making them easier to become clogged, which eventually can cause heart attacks and other serious health problems.
According to a 10-year study, in which he compared Japan’s low death rate from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer to that of other countries, Akita (Japan) University’s Dr. Takizawa concluded that the person who drinks saké moderately every day has a low risk of being diagnosed with such cancer. Amongst alcoholic beverages, saké contains the most amino acids. Takizawa found that amino acids play a role in preventing cancer, shrinking cancer cells, and, in some cases, killing cancer cells. According to the results of a 16-year study by Japan National Cancer Research Institute, the person who smokes, drinks alcohol, and eats more meat than vegetables every day has the highest risk of being diagnosed with cancer. However, they also found that those who drink saké moderately every day have a lower risk of cancer than those who don’t drink saké at all.
|Nutritional Information of Sake|
|Fat||less than 0.1 g|
|Dietary Fiber||less than 0.1 g|
|Iron||less than 0.1 g|
|Vitamin B1||3.0 µ g|
|Per 100 ml (3.3 oz) of Gekkeikan Traditional Sake 15.6% alc/vol|
|Caloric Information Per 100ml (3.3 oz.)|
|Sake||105 ~ 110 kcal|
|Beer||40 ~ 70 kcal|
|Wine||80 ~ 100 kcal|
|Shochu||110 ~ 200 kcal|
|Whiskey||225 ~ 250 kcal|