The Japanese diet, made up of whole, plant-based foods and seafood, has been found to lower liver fibrosis progression

Dr. Hideki Fujii M.D. and Associate Professor Yoshinari Matsumoto at the Osaka Metropolitan University have led a research study into the effect of the Japanese diet on liver fibrosis.

Fujii and Matsumoto tested 136 patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at the Osaka Metropolitan University Hospital. They analysed the relationship between meals rated by mJDI12, muscle mass, and liver fibrosis progression in these patients.

What is the Japanese diet?

The traditional Japanese diet has been Registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. It comprises whole foods and plant-based foods and is rich in fish and seafood. Animal protein, added sugars, and fat is minimal.

Traditional Japanese cuisine is known as “washoku.” Washoku is made up of small, simple, fresh, and seasonal dishes.

Eating such a nutritious diet has numerous health benefits, including:

  • Improved weight loss
  • Digestion
  • Longevity
  • Overall health

12-component modified Japanese Diet Index (mJDI12)

The scoring system, named “the 12-component modified Japanese Diet Index (mJDI12),” focuses on the intake of the Japanese diet pattern.

Scores range from 0 to 12. Higher scores indicate that the diet conforms to the Japanese food pattern.

It includes 12 foods and food groups:

  • Rice
  • Miso soup
  • Pickles
  • Soy products
  • Green and yellow vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Seafood
  • Mushrooms
  • Seaweed
  • Green tea
  • Coffee
  • Beef
  • Pork
Top view of couple hands eating sushi food at japanese restaurant. High angle view of woman hand serving seaweed in little bowl with sesame to man while holding hosomaki with chopsticks. Couple eating and sharing sushi roll, maki, nigiri, uramaki.
Image: © Ridofranz | Stock

Japanese diet is effective as a dietary treatment for liver fibrosis

Professor Matsumoto concludes that: “This study indicates that the Japanese diet pattern may be effective as a dietary treatment for NAFLD patients. We hope that further intervention studies will lead to the establishment of an effective diet for those patients.”

Interestingly, the group with a higher mJDI12 presented a lower degree of liver fibrosis progression.

Furthermore, in a Japanese diet, a high intake of soy products, seafood, and seaweed suppressed liver fibrosis progression. Individuals who consumed soy products had higher muscle mass. Overall, the group with higher muscle mass had a lower degree of liver fibrosis progression.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here