- What is Euglena?
Euglena is a small organism of about 0.05 mm in length and thus cannot be clearly observed without a microscope. The Japanese name of Euglena is “Midorimushi”. Although “Midorimushi” literally means green insects, Euglena is not an insect but a member of algae, just like brown seaweed and sea tangle.
Euglena has chloroplasts in the cell, enabling it to perform photosynthesis and produce sugars like plants. Moreover, Euglena can move like an animal by changing its cell shape. An organism like this, with both plant- and animal-like characteristics, is quite unique.
Euglena combines features of both plants and animals, and thus it naturally contains various nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and unsaturated fatty acids.
Paramylon, a crystal form of β-1,3-glucan, is a storage polysaccharide specific to Euglena and its related species.
Paramylon is neither digested nor absorbed in the human body; it is believed to act like a dietary fiber.
Mice that ingested Euglena scratched their nose less frequently than did those that did not ingest Euglena. This result suggests that ingestion of Euglena is effective in alleviating some of the symptoms of cedar pollen allergy, of which nose scratching is a typical behavior in mice suffering from this allergy.
Mice that were fed a diet containing an Euglena or paramylon powder for 2 weeks were infected with influenza virus A/PR/8/34(HINI), and then their su
Liver fibrosis in model mice, with induced NASH, was suppressed after eating a diet containing Euglena and paramylon powders for 27 days. This result suggests that the Euglena and paramylon powders effectively suppressed disease progression.
Addition of an Euglena extract to milk in a test tube, followed by incubation at a constant temperature, facilitated milk solidification into yogurt. Furthermore, pH monitoring showed that acidification of milk was accelerated by the addition of the Euglena extract. These results suggest that the addition of Euglena extract facilitates the production of lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria.
Rats with liver damage were fed a diet containing a paramylon powder. Consequently, the indicators of liver damage, such as the levels of AST and ALT in the blood, decreased with the increase of the concentration of paramylon in the diet. Additionally, no notable suppression of the activity of superoxide dismutase was observed in the rats that ingested paramylon. These results suggest that ingestion of paramylon is effective in alleviating the liver damage.
Acute gastric ulcer was induced in mice by swimming stress after feeding a diet containing an Euglena powder for 2 weeks, and the extent of gastric ulcer was investigated. A significant decrease in the area of gastric ulcer was observed in the mice that had been fed the Euglena-containing diet, suggesting that the Euglena powder can alleviate the symptoms of gastric ulcer.