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1. What is Nichi Glucan?

Nichi Glucan is a food supplement containing the 1,3-1,6 Beta Glucan obtained from a black yeast known as the Aureobasidium pullulans (Strain AFO- 202). Nichi Glucan will be an ideal food supplement for everyone in the family and particularly useful for individuals who are diabetic and those who have high lipid (cholesterol) levels in their blood. It also helps in boosting one’s own immunity and well being.

2. How is this different from other types of Glucans and beta Glucans?

A polysaccharide consisting only of the monosaccharide glucose is termed as glucan. Glucans come in Alpha forms and Beta forms. Among them, Beta Glucans were identified to have immunomodulation properties. Beta Glucans are obtained from a variety of sources including Fungi, Mushrooms, Oats Barley and other Bacteria. Fungal Beta Glucans have 1, 3-1, 6 linkage while those from Oats and Barley have 1, 3-1, 4 linkages. Studies have indicated that insoluble (1,3/1,6) β-glucan, has greater biological activity than that of its soluble (1,3/1,4) β-glucan counterparts (1). Nichi Glucan is 1,3-1,6 Beta Glucan obtained from a black yeast, the Aureobasidium pullulans (Strain AFO- 202 isolated by Dr. Fujii et al) which secretes the 1,3-1,6 Beta Glucan extracellularly in the culture medium. As refining and purification is very simple, Nichi Glucan has relatively higher purity compared to other 1,3-1,6 Beta Glucans available as food supplements, which are obtained from fungi that contain Beta Glucans within their cell wall.

3. What is the mechanism by which it helps in lowering blood glucose levels in people with high blood sugar?

Several mechanisms have been proposed behind the blood glucose lowering activity of Beta Glucan in Diabetic patients,

1. Beta-glucans delay stomach emptying so that dietary glucose is absorbed more gradually (2).
2. Beta-glucans may decrease appetite and reduce food intake (2).
3. The blood glucose level is regulated by a signalling pathway that involves PI3K/Akt activation. Decreased PI3K/Akt activity has been identified to play a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes (2). As Beta-glucans have been demonstrated to increase PI3K/Akt, this might be the possible mechanism behind the blood glucose lowering effect of Nichi Glucan in diabetic patients.

4. What is the mechanism by which it helps in lowering lipid / cholesterol levels?

The mechanism by which Beta Glucans lower the lipid levels is attributed to the reduced absorption of cholesterol due to the increase in viscosity of the meal bolus, reduction in synthesis of cholesterol due to increase in conversion of cholesterol to bile acids and / or the products of fermentation inhibiting the hepatic fatty acid synthesis. In particular, for yeast derived beta glucans, the involvement of a macrophage-cholesterol (metabolism) axis for the cholesterol lowering effect is also hypothesized (3-5).

5. How frequent one must consume Nichi Glucan?

Nichi Glucan being a food supplement and not a drug may be consumed based on the individual’s condition. Those who have high cholesterol and blood glucose are recommended to consume 1.5g of Nichi Glucan per day. Nichi Glucan is supplied in the form of powder (Granules) in sachets. Each sachet will contain 0.5g of Nichi Glucan. Hence three sachets should be consumed daily, one at morning, noon and night, 20 minutes before each meal. Nichi Glucan does not have any known interactions with any other drug and hence individuals consuming Nichi Glucan can continue their regular medications as indicated. It is mandatory for the individuals to consume 1.5g of Nichi Glucan daily to observe the beneficial effects.

6. Can it be mixed with any food or drink?

Yes, Nichi Glucan can be mixed with water, milk, juice or any other health drink. It can also be mixed with rice or any other food as per the individual’s convenience. Nichi Glucan can be taken as such also as per the individual’s convenience.

7. Are there any adverse reactions reported?

The Nichi Glucan has been subjected to extensive acute toxicity tests, sub acute toxicity tests, chronic toxicity tests, and mutagenicity tests. There were no known adverse effects noted in any of these tests. In a study done in 27 elderly people aged above 70 years, it has been confirmed that an oral administration of nearly 150 mg/day of β-1, 3-1, 6-glucan through gastronomy or nasal tube, for a period of 3 months, did not have any adverse changes on the levels of Na, K, Cl, glucose, uric acid, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglyceride, total protein, albumin, and cholinesterase, γ-GTP,AST,ALT and CRP in the blood of the subjects as revealed by biochemical screening (6).

Hence there are no adverse effects when Nichi Glucan is consumed as per the recommendations as a food supplement

8. How long the Beta Glucan has been in usage as a food supplement?

Research on Beta Glucan started in 1941. Beta Glucan as an approved food supplement is in usage since 1995. The Nichi Glucan (1,3-1,6 Beta Glucan) as a food supplement was approved in Japan in 1996 (7).

9. Should I amend any changes to my food habits or life style while consuming this?

Food habits / lifestyle practices as recommended by your nutritionist/physician should be continued as Nichi Glucan is a food supplement and not a drug. It does not have any known interactions with any other drug and hence individuals consuming Nichi Glucan can continue their regular medications as indicated.

10. How much time does it take to objectively notice any positive changes?

Nearly three months of regular consumption of Nichi Glucan has been reported to help with the well-being in people with high glucose and high cholesterol levels (5). However individual variations have to be kept in mind.

11. Should I stop the consumption once I am fine with all my clinical/biochemical parameters?

It is better to continue the intake of Nichi Glucan as it will help in maintaining the clinical/biochemical parameters within the normal reference range and for maintaining positive health.

12. Is there any disease condition in which one should not consume Nichi glucan?

There are no particular disease conditions that might interfere with consumption of Nichi Glucan as it is only a food supplement. However individuals with history of allergy to glucan products must exercise caution and consult with their physician before starting Nichi Glucan.

13. How do I store the Nichi glucan?

Nichi Glucan should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place at a temperature of 25°C or less.

14. Are there any drug interactions reported when Nichi Glucan supplement is consumed with any particular drug?

Nichi Glucan does not have any known interactions with any other drug and hence individuals consuming Nichi Glucan can continue their regular medications as indicated.


  1. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29
  2. Chen J, Raymond K. Beta-glucans in the treatment of diabetes and associated cardiovascular risks. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008;4(6):1265-72.
  3. Cugnet-Anceau C, Nazare JA, Biorklund M, Le Coquil E, Sassolas A, Sothier M, Holm J et al. A controlled study of consumption of beta-glucan-enriched soups for 2 months by type 2 diabetic free-living subjects. Br J Nutr. 2010; 103:422-8.
  4. Vetvicka V, Vetvickova J. Effects of yeast-derived beta-glucans on blood cholesterol and macrophage functionality. J Immunotoxicol. 2009; 6:30-5.
  5. Dedeepiya VD, Sivaraman G, Venkatesh AP, Preethy S, Abraham SJ. Potential effects of nichi glucan as a food supplement for diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia: preliminary findings from the study on three patients from India. Case Rep Med. 2012;2012:895370.
  6. Miyamoto. M et al. Impact on NK cell activity by gastronomy or nasal tube feeding of β-glucan black yeast in the elderly. 27th Japan Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. 2012 (Abstract in Japanese)
  7. Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare Document. Study on the safety evaluation of existing Natural additives. 15th March 1996 Ref. No 214