"Natto," Yogurt Popular in Japan amid Coronavirus Scare

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, March 13 (Jiji Press)--"Natto" fermented soybeans and yogurt are flying off the shelves across Japan amid fears of novel coronavirus infections, as the products are widely believed to help strengthen the immune system.

But experts say there is no scientific evidence that eating the foods improves immunity against the virus.

The immune system defends the body against invaders such as pathogens, according to researchers at the University of Tsukuba's immunology laboratory and elsewhere.

The system tends to weaken due to poor nutrition and exposure to cold temperatures, raising vulnerability to infection, they say.

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, natto sales grew by 4 pct year on year between the second week of January and the third week of February, and yogurt sales by 11 pct, according to food sales and price data provider KSP-SP Co.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press