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Prophylaxis to COVID-19 by a unique beta glucan food supplement from Japan

Tokyo, January 05, 2021.

A unique beta glucan, (Nichi Glucan)food supplement from Japan that boosts the immune system has been suggested as a potential strategy to overcome the cytokine storm causing COVID-19 deaths until a definite vaccine with a reasonable duration of effectiveness for prevention is widely available to the entire global population or a drug to tackle this pandemic is developed, especially forelderly people and those with comorbidities. Recently, its potentials in preventing COVID-19 complications by balancing blood sugar levels has been published in Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders (https://doi.org/10.1007/s40200-020-00664-4) and that to prevent COVID-19 associated blood clotting problems, in the Journal Thrombosis (https://doi.org/10.1186/s12959-020-00239-6). Such capabilities of Nichi glucan produced by AFO-202 strain of Black Yeast Aureobasidium Pullulans have made the authors recommend clinical studies in COVID-19 patients for validation that it might serve as a vaccine adjuvant. 

One in 11 Indians are prone to Diabetes and it is alarming to know that 73% of the COVID-19 deaths in India are linked with comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases according to studies. Nichi Glucan (www.nichiglucan.com) possesses both immune-enhancing capabilities to tackle viral infections and also immune-modulating ability to balance the over-acting immune reaction, documented in earlier studies. Available scientific evidence makes us suggest that Nichi Glucan may benefit COVID-19 patients, especially those at high risksays, Dr. Nobunao Ikewaki of Kyushu University of Health and Welfare who has done extensive research on Beta Glucans, citing his publication in Frontiers in Immunology (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01548/full). 

Beta glucans in lifestyle conditions: While earlier pilot studies on Nichi Glucan have reported its efficacy in balancing blood glucose, HbA1C (https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/895370) and cholesterol levels (https://doi.org/10.3109/19390211.2013.859211), a recently based on studies conducted in Japan narrates that a prophylactic or preventive potential could be in store because a well-controlled fasting plasma glucose is reported with significantreduction of death rate in COVID-19 patients. The metabolic pathways related effects of this food supplement are likely to yield benefits in Asian populations with high incidence of diabetes.The suggested mechanisms by which Nichi Glucan helps in metabolic aspects of COVID-19 include delaying the gastric emptying leading to glucose being absorbed slowly, flattening the plasma glucose response curve, which lowers postprandial glucose and insulin responses, potentiating the feelings of satiety, improving insulin sensitivity and acting on the PI3K/Akt pathway implicated in Diabetes through receptors like Dectin-1 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s40200-020-00664-4). 

Beneficial effects through blood coagulation systems : In Caucasians, Afro-Americans and Hispanics who are at high risk of coagulopathy or a blood clotting system disruption, whenare COVID-19 positive, the risk ofdamages to blood vessels and myocardium causing abnormal blood clotting leading to stroke and organ damage increases. By virtue of the Beta Glucans’potentials of direct antiplatelet, antioxidative, anticoagulant and antithrombotic actions, reversing the disturbances in the clotting parameters such as enhancing platelet aggregation and increased thrombin levels, reducing the effects of the cytokine storm thus restoring the feedback control mechanisms of thrombin generation by antithrombin III along with enhancing immune-function by acting against inflammation(https://doi.org/10.1186/s12959-020-00239-6),the Nichi Glucan has strategiccapacities to prevent this coagulation cascade related complications of COVID-19. 

Immune enhancement in COVID-19 & cancer : Nichi Glucan boosting protective immune factors like Cytotoxic T Cells and immunoglobulins while controlling those lead to hyper inflammation including IL6 apart from immune modulation by sFas and Treg cells, have been elaborately narrated in an article, which is a compendium of extensive studies done in Japan (https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01548). Based on the immune enhancement in terms of Natural Killer (NK) cells and their potential in tackling bacterial and viral infections as well as cancer having been evaluated in healthy people, elderly healthy volunteers and cancer patients and presented in Japanese societies of gastroenterology, nutrition and dietetics by clinicians and scientists from Kochi University, Japan, clinical trials in COVID-19 are planned. 

Nichi-Glucan in Gut dysbiosis: Dysbiosis or alterations in the gut microbiota composition has been reported in children with Autism Spectrum Disease (ASD) with changes in the gut microbiota influencing the risk for ASD by influencing the immune system and metabolism. Since β-glucans function as a prebiotic fiberthereby modulating the human gut microbiota, a clinical trial to study its potential benefits in children with autism and ASD is considered. 

Nichi-Glucan in Animal welfare : As animals and birds are increasingly being of concern as zoonotic reservoirs of human diseases, the effects of this Beta Glucan nutritional supplement in fighting infections in animals becomes important. Nichi Glucan has been found effective against infections like Leishmaniasis, Gumbaro disease, Malaria etc.,by enhancing the immunity (https://doi.org/10.3347/kjp.2009.47.4.345), proven to be an effective vaccine adjuvant in poultry against the avian influenza A H5N1 and H5N2 (J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Apr;21(4):405-11) andyields better growth of livestock (https://doi.org/10.1292/jvms.10-0029). 

Nichi Glucan,one of its kind in the world biological response modifier glucan (BRMG), whose unique advantage is its high purity,being secreted by the black yeast as an exo-polysaccharide, it doesn’t need cumbersome extraction or purification processes that may compromise the purity and therefore functionality. More importantly, Nichi Glucan is water-soluble and is easy to mix with any food. It is manufactured in a GMP certified factory on the banks of Niyodo river in Kochi prefecture, Japan. Nichi Glucan was approved as food additive in 1996 by the Government of Japan and having cleared all safety tests according to Japanese standards, is suitable for consumption by people of all ages according to the manufacturer. 

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