19 June 2020 | Analysis
Scientists recommend clinical studies in people with comorbidities, combat the pandemic
A unique Beta 1,3-1,6 Glucan based Japanese health supplement, produced by black yeast, Aureobasidium Pullulans, could strategically help tackle Covid-19 in people with comorbid conditions like diabetes, kidney and heart diseases, as published in Frontiers in Immunology Journal recommending clinical studies for validation.
This AFO-202 strain produced “Nichi Glucan” enhanced the immunity by increasing Natural Killer (NK) cells and anti-viral cytokines of healthy people, cancer patients and elderly, in three different studies in Japan. Encouraging outcome of earlier studies inspired us to hypothesize that, benefits of this food supplement in boosting the immunity could help during this pandemic, said Dr. Nobunao Ikewaki, a co-author
Analyzing the intricacies and weakness of immune system in people with comorbid conditions, making them vulnerable to severe complications when infected by SARS-COV-2, scientists say that immune system must protect the body from pathogens like viruses, but shouldn’t over-act causing hyper inflammation leading to cytokine storm ensuing in respiratory failure or complications like stroke.
Nichi Glucan having been found to boost protective factors like Cytotoxic T Cells and immunoglobulins, while controlling those lead to hyper inflammation through sFas and Treg cells, balancing as immunomodulator, has potentials worth clinical studies during this global health crisis, they opine.
Unique advantages of this biological response modifier glucan are attributed to its purity, being produced as an exo-polysaccharide and its water solubility. Nichi Glucan is manufactured in a GMP factory in the banks of upstream Niyodo river in Kochi prefecture. "Pristine water of this region is a key ingredient for production, making Nichi Glucan a nature's gift," says Mr. Takashi Onaka, President, Sophy Inc., the manufacturer.
Approved as food additive in 1996 after conforming to all safety norms of Japanese standards, Nichi Glucan isn’t a drug or cure to any illness. However, in the present situation, without vaccines to prevent or drugs to tackle the Covid-19 virus or its complications, it could be tried in studies to confirm efficacy in helping the immunocompromised vulnerable population through immune enhancement, comment the authors. Further research is underway to develop newer versions with higher adhesion for improvised immune stimulation. GN Corporation, the exclusive worldwide exporter, co-applicants to a patent with Sophy Inc., are looking for country-wise partners for further research & distribution.