DOI: 10.3390/foods12244438 ISSN: 2304-8158

Activation of Immune and Antiviral Effects by Euglena Extracts: A Review

Yuji Isegawa
  • Plant Science
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Health (social science)
  • Microbiology
  • Food Science

Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza virus infection, which is managed using vaccines and antiviral drugs. Recently, the antiviral effects of plants and foods have gained attention. Euglena is a motile unicellular alga and eukaryotic photosynthetic microorganism. It has secondary chloroplasts and is a mixotroph able to feed by photosynthesis or phagocytosis. This review summarizes the influenza treatment effects of Euglena from the perspective of a functional food that is attracting attention. While it has been reported that Euglena contributes to suppressing blood sugar levels and ameliorates symptoms caused by stress by acting on the autonomic nervous system, the immunostimulatory and antiviral activities of Euglena have also been reported. In this review, I focused on the immunostimulation of antiviral activity via the intestinal environment and the suppression of viral replication in infected cells. The functions of specific components of Euglena, which also serves as the source of a wide range of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and β-1,3-glucan (paramylon), are also reviewed. Euglena has animal and plant properties and natural compounds with a wide range of functions, providing crucial information for improved antiviral strategies.

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