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Simultaneous intake of Euglena powder and vegetable powder improves obesity through regulation of intestinal microflora and inflammation.
~ Research results were published in an online scientific journal “Nutrients” ~

  • February 21, 2019

Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company Limited (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Mari Nogami; hereinafter “Takeda”) and euglena Co., Ltd. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President and CEO: Mitsuru Izumo; hereinafter “EUGLENA”) announce that research findings suggesting anti-obesity effects were confirmed in obese mouse model with simultaneous ingestion of microalgae Euglena (Japanese name: Midorimushi) powder (hereinafter “Euglena powder”) and vegetable powder, in a collaborative research with associate professor Tsuyoshi Tsuduki, Laboratory of Food and Biomolecular Science, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University.
Takeda and EUGLENA have concluded a comprehensive alliance agreement to jointly investigate the possibility of developing new products containing Euglena.

■ Background and Purpose

Recently, obesity rates have increased because of the accumulation of body fat caused by changes in dietary habits and a lack of exercise. Obesity is considered a risk factor for myocardial infarction and stroke. Therefore, appropriate measures are needed to treat this condition. Obesity may cause chronic inflammation in the fat tissue, adversely affecting the whole body. Short-chain fatty acids produced by intestinal microflora suppress obesity through receptors on host cells. A previous collaborative research*1 showed that simultaneous intake of Euglena powder and vegetable powder regulated the intestinal microflora*2, which suppressed the accumulation of visceral fat and inflammation*3 in mice fed a normal diet.
In this research, obese mice fed a high-fat diet were given paramylon powder, Euglena powder, or a mixture of Euglena powder and vegetable powder rich in water-soluble dietary fiber (barley young leaves, Angelica keiskei, and kale) to investigate whether the effects observed in mice fed a normal diet also occurred in obese mice.

■ Research content and results

Mice were divided into 5 groups orally being fed (1) normal diet (ND group), (2) high-fat diet (HD group), (3) high-fat diet and paramylon powder (HDP group), (4) high-fat diet and Euglena powder (HDE group), and (5) high-fat diet and a mixture of Euglena powder and vegetable powder (HDE+V group) for 2 months.
The weights of epididymal adipose tissues and total white adipose tissue decreased significantly in the HDP, HDE, and HDE+V groups (Figure 1 and Table 1). Furthermore, the total white adipose tissue weight decreased significantly in the HDE+V group compared to that in the HDP group, confirming that simultaneous intake of vegetable powder enhances the effects of paramylon powder (Figure 1 and Table 1).

Additionally, the area of epididymal adipose tissues was significantly decreased in the HDE+V group (Figure 2).

In the obese mouse model, the HDP, HDE, and HDE+V groups showed a significant decrease in interleukin (IL)-6, a serum inflammatory cytokine*4, compared to that in the HD group. Furthermore, the decrease in IL-6 was significantly greater in the HDE and HDE+V groups than in the HDP group and IL-1beta was significantly lower in the HDE+V group than in the HD group (Figure 3). Thus, the anti-inflammatory effect (significant decrease in IL-6 and IL-1beta, inflammatory cytokines) observed in mice fed a normal diet in the previous collaborative research also occurred in the obese mice in this research.

The previous collaborative research reported that intake of Euglena powder and simultaneous intake of Euglena powder and vegetable powder improve the intestinal microflora in normal-fed mice. In this research, a significant increase in short-chain fatty acid (propionic acid) produced by intestinal microflora (Figure 4) and decrease in harmful bacteria were observed in mice fed a high-fat diet and a mixture of Euglena powder and vegetable powder.

These results suggest that simultaneous intake of Euglena powder and vegetable powder had anti-obesity effects by improving the intestinal microflora and suppressing inflammation, as shown by a decrease in inflammatory cytokines. The results of this research were published in an online scientific journal “Nutrients” on January 21.
(Nutrients https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/1/204

Takeda and EUGLENA will continue the research on the functionality of Euglena powder and a combination of Euglena powder and vegetables with the aim of continuously contributing to the maintenance and improvement of health.

  • *1Previous collaborative research: Jointly released by Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company Limited and euglena Co., Ltd. on November 27, 2018.https://www.takeda-chc.co.jp/en/news/2018/11/20181127.html
  • *2Intestinal microflora: A group of a wide variety of intestinal bacteria coexisting in the intestines of humans and animals, maintaining a steady balance.
  • *3Anti-inflammatory effect: An action to suppress inflammation.
  • *4Serum inflammatory cytokines: Cytokines that cause various inflammatory symptoms within an organism. Cytokines are proteins that play roles in the transmission of immunity within an organism.

<Microalgae Euglena (Japanese name: Midorimushi)>
Euglena (Japanese name: Midorimushi) is the same kind of algae as brown seaweed, kelp, and chlorella with characteristics of both animals and plants. It contains 59 kinds of nutrients (e.g., vitamins, minerals, amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, etc.) in a well-balanced manner. Paramylon, which is a specific component (a type of beta-glucan) of Euglena, has recently been studied for its functionality and is expected to be used in the healthcare field, such as for foods and cosmetics.
■ Takeda Consumer Healthcare Company Limited
Our company began operations on April 1, 2017 as a business company responsible for consumer healthcare business in the Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Group. We will further contribute to better health of people in order to fulfill their desire to extend “healthy life-span” through our brand products including Alinamin, Benza, and Takeda herbal laxatives, in the fields of “self-care” and “self-medication”.
■ euglena Co., Ltd.
In 2005, the company succeeded in establishing edible outdoor mass culture technology of microalgae Euglena (Japanese name: Midorimushi) in Ishigaki island, Okinawa Prefecture for the first time in the world. The company develops and sells functional foods and cosmetics utilizing microalgae (Euglena, chlorella, etc.) produced in Ishigaki island and are also conducting researches to produce biofuels. Listed on TSE Mothers in December 2012. Changed listing to the first section of TSE in December 2014. The management philosophy is "to make people and the earth healthy."