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Vit K2: Fermenting Paleo Foods With Bacillus Natto/ Taking 'Bacillus natto' as a supplement??

by (10)
Updated about 19 hours ago
Created June 01, 2013 at 10:03 PM

I know the name of the strain of bacterial used to ferment natto, the Japanese soybean dish full of vitamin k2, is Bacillus Natto. I can find cultures of it available online. However I would like to use it to ferment another type of food than soybeans. Would starchy tubers that are first steamed be a good resort? I know that heat, carbohydrates, and sterility are all conditions that should be considered when making a fermented product, but do the carbohydrates and acidity of any commonly attainable and consumed Paleo foods fit the bill for a good substitute for soy beans? (my next move will be to look up the macro-nutrient composition of those starchy phytoestrogen factories).

I have some supplements for vitamin k2 mk-7, however, supplements are expensive and i have a hard time trusting the people who produce them. I'd also like to take moderately large doses as I want to acquire more vitamin D and A from my diet and want to reep the most benefit.

I know eating grass-fed foods is a good source of mk-4, but that is not going to happen at the present time. Also i have a allergy to eggs and cheese.

I don't need advise on how to spend my money, arrange my shopping list, or companies to buy trust worthy supplements from, i just want to know if anyone has any legitimate knowledge pertaining to what I'm trying to find out.

Also, what would happen if you supplemented with pure Bacillus Natto and allowed the culture to colonize your gut, thus making your own k2 in the small intestine where it can be utilized by the body (as opposed to it being produced in the colon absent of bile that would allow the vitamin to be absorbed into the body)? (sounds like sort of a bad idea, but if it were feasible, i think it would be a great way to get ample amounts of vitamin k2 with every meal)

the only article i could find pertaining to my last question was this, and i only vaguely understand the results.

http://www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/anifee/article/PIIS0377840111000204/abstract

Thanks!

-Rachel

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1147 · December 14, 2013 at 11:19 PM

quite interesting. this post is from 4 months ago and I have since learned that what you say is right. I was quoting straight from the Blue Zone book. Now it so happens that I am very familiar with the #2 spot for longevity, Barbagia in Sardinia. And those people are very much carnivorous. but somehow the book presents them as olive oil loving vegetarians, even though the first visit to an active, 75-years old Barbaricino finds him inside a cow that he is slaughtering. I guess this settles the fact that the Blue Zone is just propaganda. How deep is this rabbit hole really?

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173
8065 · December 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM

The older Okinawans survived some of the most violent battles of WWII, and starvation at the time, so "lifestyle" explanations ring a little hollow, too. There are many things that probably do contribute to longevity that TOGETHER add up to long life, not the least of which is genetics. But vegetarianism is not one of them.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173
8065 · December 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

The Okinawan diet is not anywhere near vegetarian! I lived there for most if my childhood and can assure you of this. They eat vegetables, seafood, fish, eggs, fowl, and meat. They often cook in lard. Yes, they do eat soy and starches too. Their diet is omnivorous. I am so tired of people who have never been there to see with their own eyes claim they eat little or no meat. It's just not true.

Okinawans do eat plenty of vegetables IN ADDITION TO meat, fish, seafood, fowl and eggs. Most Americans would be reluctant to eat bitter melon or a diet high in sea vegetables.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17103 · July 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

That lentil one sounds like it would be the least offensive to us paleo folks if soaked properly and boiled a long time. The main thing would be to somehow test it to see how much K2/MK7 you'd get out of it so you'd know if it worked. Testing would probably be $$$$$.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f
1197 · July 01, 2013 at 11:40 PM

DO IT!!! Add raw hard cheeses to your diet - a great source of K2!

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f
1197 · July 01, 2013 at 11:37 PM

orthorexia = fear of food. Needing all your food to be "clean" or "nutritious". Restricting foods when you aren't sensitive can also wreak havoc on your body. I am crossing my fingers for you that your metabolism doesn't crash on you in a few years. Just pay close attention to what your body is telling you. Don't be afraid to admit that traditional paleo dogma might not be right for you. What holds true for vegans also holds true for us - too much restriction is NOT GOOD. (Best of luck anyway though - interesting experiment)

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 18, 2013 at 2:40 AM

i had such high hopes for the mushrooms in the science project, that would have been awesome! Cheese sounds interesting though... I was thinking of sparsely adding some high quality dairy to my diet. Thanks!

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 7:20 PM

well there is a difference between thriving and surviving. People can eat certain foods for years and have no physical symptoms, unaware that it is wreaking havoc on their body (as you probably already know).

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 7:12 PM

ouch! yeah, that was my concern, too :p

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7275 · June 02, 2013 at 3:58 PM

To answer your side question, if you took straight Bacillus natto, it would probably not be able to grow well in your gut, as the environment wouldn't be right. Funny story: when I was a kid I had heard that yeast was nutritious, but I didn't know the difference between nutritional yeast and baker's yeast, so I just ate a packet of bread yeast. They went to town in my stomach, and produced so much gas. It was incredibly painful (and dangerous!). So let that be a cautionary tale.

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7275 · June 02, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I have celiac disease and have trouble with a lot of foods besides wheat/rye/barley, such as dairy, buckwheat, amaranth, corn, and soybeans. However, I have found that I tolerate chickpeas and lentils very well, and in fact, feel better when I include them in my diet. Are you avoiding legumes and seeds out of theoretical concerns, or because you know that for you, individually, they don't sit well? If the former, I think it would be a good idea to experiment and see what works for you.

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? its healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? the're healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? its healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals For more Paleo

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? the're healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I don't eat them because of the phytonutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? the're healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41442 · June 02, 2013 at 12:27 PM

The question is why aren't you eating those, Rachel? Beans are, despite paleo concerns, quite healthy foods. Even a little soy now and then is ok. Don't let a 'fad' get in the way of traditional foods.

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 12:34 AM

That's the problem i am having: I don't eat nuts, legumes (including peas, beans and peanuts) or seeds (except for herbs and baking aids ie. Chia seeds) The main staples I have to work with would be sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruit, meat, coconut derivatives... i use tuber based flours as well. I work with water kefir but have yet to find out if it produces any vitamin k2. I use the kefir water to make a coconut milk based yogurt. I also use the culture to make a salted and brined steak that i eat regularly.

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8 Answers

4ea71b4625cb5df5b7b7a62c1560b2e1
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0 · January 08, 2014 at 2:12 AM

Glib,

The jury is still out on whether MK-4 is better or MK-7, but many have still made up their minds and claim their favorite is best. Here are the bullet points of their arguments. Blood levels of K-2 go up much faster, more, and longer with MK-7, so it must be be better (or worse because it's gone to work and is not sloshing about in the blood). Some Japanese (and other) research showing remarkable health benefits was done with MK-4, so that must be best. Weston Price's and many other indiginous diet conclusions are based on animal produced K-2 (MK-4), so that must be best. We have many hundreds of years of experience with MK-7 (natto in Japan) that clearly demonstrates that that is best. One thing that is clear to both camps is that it takes much larger amounts of MK-4 to get a similar effect to MK-7 and there is nothing in the natural world to compare with natto for quantity of K-2 (actually there are a few, but if you think natto is not appealing, these would really gross you out).

The ammonia odor is influenced by fermentation time and substrate. One of the purposes of the slime produced by natto is to break down protein, and it can really pump it out when it is working on soy protein. Nattokinase, the enzyme made by natto, breaks down protein and happily it also degrades blood clots and biofilms like those that surround and protect the bacteria that causes Lymes disease. Vitamin K-2, nattokinase and other beneficial compounds are found in natto's biofilm, so it makes sense to value natto that is very slimy. But the natto that we eat should continue to make K-2 and nattokinase, etc., while traveling through our gut and should be well absorbed in the large intestine. I don't know of any data or research that quantifies these considerations. The biofilm produced by natto can be increased about 40 fold if the substrate is glutamic acid. I have not yet tried adding some glutamic acid to a bean substrate, but I do usually add some sugar and biotin, which are also food to natto. Your idea of adding some liquid is an interesting one and very worthy of experimention. You also mention mixed beans, which I've wondered about as well. I think it would be a very interesting experiment. If the beans don't have the same cooking times, they could be cooked separately, then mixed. There are some Japanese techniques for crushing the cooked soy beans and other modifications, but always it is important to provide adequate exposure to oxygen and sufficient moisture. I don't know what the Ph implications are, but adequate oxygen and even more so moisture are both important for developing the film. One more consideration is that the biofilm is produced during the period of rapid exponential growth, usually from hours 10 to 14. During this stage the metabolic activity can cause overheating and a loss of stringiness (and oxygen depletion), so if you have a timer on your incubator you may want to turn it down during this period, watch the temperature and make sure it doesn't dry out. You may be able to get something that has a heavy biofilm and low ammonia odor by stopping around hour 14.

Some of the stringiest natto I have made has been dry dog food. It makes sense, as it is high protein and fat, like soy (I use no soy dog food). I steam/boil the kibble for a few minutes to get it wet, hot and kill bacteria, then inoculate and ferment. My dog loves it and usually gets a few spoons full with each meal.

/Jon

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0 · December 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Rachel,

You can make natto with a number of other beans and seeds. For best results, you are looking for high protein and high fat content. The biofilm produced by the natto bacteria contains enzymes (nattokinase) to break down the (soy) protein as well as large amounts of vitamin K-2. The ammonia smell is the result of partially broken down protein. You can get more detail on how and why to make natto, recipes and alternatives to using soy at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/nattosupport/info

/Jon

4ea71b4625cb5df5b7b7a62c1560b2e1
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0 · December 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Test

,

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130 · September 05, 2013 at 5:04 PM

FWIW, Rachel, I subsequently/recently tried culturing some green peas this way. I zapped the usual frozen green peas in my microwave for a few minutes to heat them up enough to kill off whatever might have been on them, if anything, added some starter natto culture that I bought at a health food store, and placed them in my yogurt maker for about 24 hours.

They came out great, if I do say so myself. Lotsa ooey-gooey natto goodness. So it looks like we can add green peas to the list of natto-able (or perhaps I should more accurately say "subtilis-able"?) foods.

In general (since peas aren't your fave, I know), my understanding is that B. Subtilis prefers a combination of fiber and protein. Whatever food you wish to culture should really have both.

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1147 · August 26, 2013 at 11:19 PM

I would love to try to make natto. Scientific papers state that MK-7 is not the same as MK-4, but there is no denying that the longest lived people on the planet (Okinawans) do very well with a near vegetarian diet - and natto. And the nutrient density would make it ideal for breakfast. I hypothesize that doing natto with a substrate containing less proteins will cut down on the ammonia odor. Obviously one can not mix two different substrates (chickpeas and soybeans), but maybe liquid additions that do not change the pH much can be tried.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173
8065 · December 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM

The Okinawan diet is not anywhere near vegetarian! I lived there for most if my childhood and can assure you of this. They eat vegetables, seafood, fish, eggs, fowl, and meat. They often cook in lard. Yes, they do eat soy and starches too. Their diet is omnivorous. I am so tired of people who have never been there to see with their own eyes claim they eat little or no meat. It's just not true.

Okinawans do eat plenty of vegetables IN ADDITION TO meat, fish, seafood, fowl and eggs. Most Americans would be reluctant to eat bitter melon or a diet high in sea vegetables.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173
8065 · December 14, 2013 at 8:45 PM

The older Okinawans survived some of the most violent battles of WWII, and starvation at the time, so "lifestyle" explanations ring a little hollow, too. There are many things that probably do contribute to longevity that TOGETHER add up to long life, not the least of which is genetics. But vegetarianism is not one of them.

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3180 · August 12, 2013 at 9:37 PM

There is an alternative. You can make as much K2 as you need right inside your large intestine! K2 is made by beneficial gut bacteria, eat to support healthy guts and the K2 is taken care of.

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130 · June 16, 2013 at 2:00 AM

If I'm not mistaken, black bean natto refers to black soybean natto, much as black bean paste refers to black soybean paste (all as opposed to making these things from yellow soybeans). You can also make natto from "regular" black beans if you prefer, the kind you'd find in a taco. I know because I've done it and it seems to work out just fine.

I think the slime has all the good stuff anyway, the K2/MK7. I make mine in a yogurt maker, the fermenting temps are about the same.

Other ideas:

Green lentil natto

Lots more natto recipes

And here's a guy whose kid got into it as a science project. The kid made it from beans, from cheese, from corn, from mushrooms....

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 18, 2013 at 2:40 AM

i had such high hopes for the mushrooms in the science project, that would have been awesome! Cheese sounds interesting though... I was thinking of sparsely adding some high quality dairy to my diet. Thanks!

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f
1197 · July 01, 2013 at 11:40 PM

DO IT!!! Add raw hard cheeses to your diet - a great source of K2!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17103 · July 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

That lentil one sounds like it would be the least offensive to us paleo folks if soaked properly and boiled a long time. The main thing would be to somehow test it to see how much K2/MK7 you'd get out of it so you'd know if it worked. Testing would probably be $$$$$.

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7275 · June 01, 2013 at 10:20 PM

It looks like black beans work well: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Microbial_Nutrition/message/15279

And azuki beans or kidney beans: http://www.jafra.gr.jp/eng/sumi.html

Another person (don't have the link, sorry) said she did it with chickpeas but didn't like the taste as much as with soy.

Edited to add: here's a picture of black bean natto. One commenter said:

Black bean natto also has slightly higher content of MK-7 according to a paper by Kamao et al. 2007 Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.

from http://www.pitonatto.blogspot.com/2006/03/black-natto-yum.html

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? the're healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? its healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:14 PM

I don't eat them because of the phytonutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? the're healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals.

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 12:34 AM

That's the problem i am having: I don't eat nuts, legumes (including peas, beans and peanuts) or seeds (except for herbs and baking aids ie. Chia seeds) The main staples I have to work with would be sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruit, meat, coconut derivatives... i use tuber based flours as well. I work with water kefir but have yet to find out if it produces any vitamin k2. I use the kefir water to make a coconut milk based yogurt. I also use the culture to make a salted and brined steak that i eat regularly.

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? its healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals For more Paleo

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41442 · June 02, 2013 at 12:27 PM

The question is why aren't you eating those, Rachel? Beans are, despite paleo concerns, quite healthy foods. Even a little soy now and then is ok. Don't let a 'fad' get in the way of traditional foods.

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 7:20 PM

well there is a difference between thriving and surviving. People can eat certain foods for years and have no physical symptoms, unaware that it is wreaking havoc on their body (as you probably already know).

81aac2dc34e97cf3e8374ecb7b5720c9
10 · June 02, 2013 at 1:36 PM

I don't eat them because of the anti-nutrients associated with seeds and legumes and that they are hard to digest. I like to stick to the main principles of 'paleo',even though don't group myself, i just know what i know and try to do what is right. That's sort of like saying 'why don't you eat wheat? the're healthy despite what those paleo-cuckoos say.' Health in humans is said to have declined at the advent of agriculture. Traditional foods or not. ie. I don't eat tomatoes which are traditional foods because of the high levels of histamines and inflammation causing chemicals

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242
7275 · June 02, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I have celiac disease and have trouble with a lot of foods besides wheat/rye/barley, such as dairy, buckwheat, amaranth, corn, and soybeans. However, I have found that I tolerate chickpeas and lentils very well, and in fact, feel better when I include them in my diet. Are you avoiding legumes and seeds out of theoretical concerns, or because you know that for you, individually, they don't sit well? If the former, I think it would be a good idea to experiment and see what works for you.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f
1197 · July 01, 2013 at 11:37 PM

orthorexia = fear of food. Needing all your food to be "clean" or "nutritious". Restricting foods when you aren't sensitive can also wreak havoc on your body. I am crossing my fingers for you that your metabolism doesn't crash on you in a few years. Just pay close attention to what your body is telling you. Don't be afraid to admit that traditional paleo dogma might not be right for you. What holds true for vegans also holds true for us - too much restriction is NOT GOOD. (Best of luck anyway though - interesting experiment)

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