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PeerJ. 2014 Aug 26;2:e540. doi: 10.7717/peerj.540. eCollection 2014.

Rice koji reduced body weight gain, fat accumulation, and blood glucose level in high-fat diet-induced obese mice.

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Division of Shochu Fermentation Technology, Education and Research Center for Fermentation Studies, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University , Kagoshima City , Japan.
Department of Social and Behavioral Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences , Kagoshima City , Japan.


Rice koji is considered a readily accessible functional food that may have health-promoting effects. We investigated whether white, yellow, and red koji have the anti-obesity effect in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD), which is a model for obesity. Mice were fed HFD containing 10% (w/w) of rice koji powder or steamed rice for 4 weeks. Weight gain, epididymal white adipose tissue, and total adipose tissue weight were significantly lower in all rice koji groups than in the HFD-rice group after 4 weeks. Feed efficiency was significantly reduced in the yellow koji group. Blood glucose levels were significantly lower in the white and red koji groups with HOMA-R and leptin levels being reduced in the white koji group. White and red koji increased glucose uptake and GLUT4 protein expression in L6 myotube cells. These results showed that all rice koji have the anti-obesity or anti-diabetes effects although the mechanisms may differ depending on the type of rice koji consumed.


Antiobesity; GLUT4; High-fat diet; Mice; Rice koji

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