Amazake made from sake cake and rice koji suppresses sebum content in differentiated hamster sebocytes and improves skin properties in humans

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2020 Aug;84(8):1689-1695. doi: 10.1080/09168451.2020.1756734. Epub 2020 Apr 21.


Amazake is a traditional Japanese health drink. Here, we examined the effects of amazake on skin in cells and humans. Treatment with sake cake or rice koji suppressed intracellular lipid accumulation in differentiated hamster sebocytes, likely through the reduced expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) mRNA. In double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, seventeen Japanese women ingested either amazake or placebo for 4 weeks. Ingestion of the amazake decreased the sebum content compared to the placebo. The questionnaires showed improvements in "face color," "dark circles under the eyes," "glossy hair," and "waking up well", only in the amazake. In accordance with the questionnaires, additional analysis revealed the change in the L* values under the eyes was statistically increased in the amazake compared to the placebo. These results indicate that amazake may decrease sebum content in cells and humans and increase the L* values under the eyes, with some additional beneficial effects in humans.

Keywords: Amazake; blemish; rice koji; sake cake; sebum.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Aspergillus oryzae / metabolism
  • Complex Mixtures / pharmacology*
  • Cricetulus
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Fermented Foods*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Oryza / chemistry*
  • PPAR gamma / antagonists & inhibitors
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • RNA, Messenger / antagonists & inhibitors
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sebaceous Glands / drug effects*
  • Sebum / drug effects*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Complex Mixtures
  • PPAR gamma
  • RNA, Messenger