Fermented functional food, Xeniji, increases immunity: Malaysian mouse study

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

A fermented paste of fruits, vegetables and other ingredients could prevent infectious diseases. ©iStock
A fermented paste of fruits, vegetables and other ingredients could prevent infectious diseases. ©iStock
Xeniji, a functional food comprising a variety of fermented ingredients, can boost antioxidant levels and immunity, according to a Malaysian mouse study.

Xeniji is a plant-based paste produced by fermenting foods such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, pulse, cereals and herbs with yeast and lactic acid bacteria, and is commercially available in Japan and Malaysia, where it is commonly consumed as a health supplement.

The study tested the effects of Xeniji on male mice that had been split into two groups, one control and the other orally fed Xeniji daily for two weeks. Their mortality, body weight, organ weight and serum liver enzyme level were then measured.

The results showed that Xeniji was rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, antioxidants and amino acids, with all nine essential amino acids, as well as seven non-essential amino acids, present in its composition.

It was also “rich in total phenolic and organic acids, particularly citric acid”. ​Furthermore, it was shown to boost immunity and upwardly regulate antioxidant levels in the mice's liver in a dose-dependent manner.

Gene expression

Xeniji’s antioxidant properties resulted in a “lower level of lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide”​ in the mice, meaning the oxidative stress level in their livers had been reduced. 

In terms of immunity, Xeniji significantly enhanced cytokine gene expression in the spleens of the treated mice, as compared to the healthy controls.

Furthermore, Xeniji was found to be rich in β-carotene and phytonadione, which have antioxidant effects and anti-clotting properties, respectively.

The study concluded that Xeniji can “enhance antioxidant level and strengthen immunity in (a) dosage-dependent manner without causing acute and sub-chronic toxicity”​, adding that for this reason, it could be a “potential nutraceutical agent to prevent and ameliorate infectious or oxidative-induced diseases”​.

 

Source: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-017-1845-6

“In vitro characterization and in vivo toxicity, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effect of fermented foods; Xeniji™

Authors: Noraisyah Zulkawi, et al.

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