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 survival rates were valuated. Mice typically experience inflammation in the lung following infection with an influenza virus, while those that ingested the Euglena or paramylon powder exhibited significantly higher survival rates (Fig. a), and the numbers of viral particles detected in the lungs were significantly lower (Fig. b).
The levels of cytokines secreted in the lung were also investigated. The levels of four cytokines (IFN-β, TNF-α, IL-1β, and IFN-γ) were high in the mice that ingested the Euglena powder. In the mice that ingested the paramylon powder, the levels of six cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12（p70）, IFN-γ, and IL-10) significantly increased, and that of IFN-β marginally increased (Fig. c).
These results suggest that pre-ingestion of either paramylon or Euglena powder, whose effect is ultimately due to the action of paramylon, enhances the secretion of cytokines, which activate immune cells, facilitating the elimination of viruses and consequently alleviating the symptoms of influenza.
source：A.Nakashima et al. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017
Influenza, which is mostly prevalent during winter months, is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by an influenza virus. Following viral infection, the human body activates immune cells through cell signaling molecules, called cytokines, to eliminate viruses.