What is Koji Culture, and how does it uptake and store iron?

What is Koji Culture, and How Does It Uptake and Store Iron?

There's a new whole food capturing the attention of health professionals and enthusiasts across the globe. If you haven't heard of koji culture yet, you will. It's the ‘seed’ for several Japanese foods we love and naturally-derived iron that's gently absorbed into the body.


What is Koji Culture?

The scientific name for the fungus commonly referred to as koji culture is Aspergillus oryzae. It's used in traditional Japanese fermentation processes because the thread-like cells can secrete large amounts of enzymes.


Koji culture is the source for some Asian foods you've likely tried, including soy sauce, spicy miso paste, vinegar, and sake. The concept of using koji has been around for centuries. Researchers discovered the fermentation process and production of sake was discussed in the Harima no Kuni Fudoki, a historical document edited in AD 715, according to a study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (NIH).


In the United States, A. oryzae is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as it was commonly used in food before 1958. It is also acknowledged as a safe organism for the production of many GRAS food enzymes by the scientific community, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


How Does Koji Uptake and Store Iron and Help the Body?

The so-called “miracle mold”, Aspergillus oryzae, naturally uptakes minerals from foods and the environment.


Koji had the ability to take up high amounts of minerals, including iron, zinc, copper, chromium, calcium, selenium, manganese, and molybdenum alone or together in one fermentation. More than 90% of the elemental iron present in the koji iron is stored within the cell structure. This naturally-derived iron source can be formulated into oral capsules, tablets, powder, and bars.


A study published by Current Developments in Nutrition regarding the uptake of iron in the body explains that koji-derived iron is highly bioavailable but releases slowly into the body, making it easier on the body than other iron sources. Our latest unpublished clinical trial confirmed that the slow release mechanism of koji iron reduces iron surges in the bloodstream, causing less iron overload and oxidative stress associated with free iron.


Iron is often recommended by medical professionals to individuals experiencing iron deficiency and ID anemia (IDA). Symptoms of fatigue, muscle weakness, immune system difficulties, and issues with skin and nails may be associated with iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is common among those with restricted diets, pregnant or menstruating women, or those who donate blood frequently. If you have health concerns that may indicate low-iron levels, please consult with a medical professional for a diagnosis.


Neuterre Whole Food Iron Supplements

Neuterre Whole Food Iron Supplements offer in one daily dose 18 mg of iron per day, which corresponds to 100 % daily value for women. The iron is naturally stored in koji and clinically proven to be highly bioavailable, slow release and easy on the body. If you’re experiencing symptoms of iron deficiency, talk to your doctor to see if Neuterre Iron Supplements are right for you. Learn more about the benefits of our naturally fermented koji-based supplements today!