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How Seigen Works: A Scientist's Perspective

By Takeo Mizutani, M.D., Institute of Physical and Chemical Research

How does Seigen exert its effect on the body? Although we have insufficient experimental data to provide a complete answer to this question, I will share here my own beliefs based on my studies, observations and experiences with lactobacillus fermented extracts.

Our body normally functions by virtue of the regulatory mechanisms that maintain homeostasis (a stable condition). Once the function of any key regulatory mechanism deteriorates due to stress, metabolic malfunction, aging, etc., homeostasis can no longer be maintained. This results in metabolic, inflammatory, and immunological challenges.

The regulatory mechanism that maintains homeostasis is controlled by neural transmission and by signaling molecules produced by cells in the nervous, endocrine and immune systems. It is likely that lactobacillus fermented extracts are actively involved in helping the stucture and function of these regulatory mechanisms, thereby augmenting the natural power and function of the body to counteract challenges to health.

Seigen contains Muramyl Dipeptide, a body constituent of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Muramyl Dipeptide is known to act on macrophage cells and glial cells in the brain to stimulate healthy cytokine release, which in turn regulates sleep by itself or through its actions on the nervous and endocrine systems. Such a mechanism hints at the connection between healthy metabolites and the brain.

The relationship of lactobacillus fermented extracts to the autonomic nervous system is of great interest. The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, which control the functions of various organs in an antagonistic manner. The parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominant under depressed conditions while the sympathetic nervous system predominates under stressful conditions; the normal ebb and flow of the body.

Dr. Tory Abo at Niigata University discovered that lymphocytes express receptors for acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter used by the parasympathetic nervous system. Lymphocytes are involved in biophylaxis by recognizing antigens and producing antibodies. When overstimulated however, the system can react to one's own body, creating unfavorable conditions.

In contrast, granulocytes possess receptors for the sympathetic neurotransmitter adrenaline. Reactive oxygen species are released from granulocytes, and thus when released in excess, they can challenge tissue and cells.

It is conceivable that lactobacillus fermented extracts might act on and be helpful to the autonomic nervous system to help maintain the normal function of that system.