noknow justlife logo
We are living as nomad in Georgia !!

Immunity improvement with 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) ! Build up immunity to beat viruses.

5-ALA can suppress the COVID-19? 5-ALA activates mitochondria in the body and improves metabolism, leading to increased immunity. 5-ALA is a natural amino acid. So, take a balanced intake from foods and build up immunity to beat viruses!

\\ This article is recommended as follows //

  • People who want to boost their immunity
  • Those who don't want to take medicine
  • People who want to build a body that is resistant to viruses


  1. 1.What is 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) ?
  2. 2.5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) and COVID-19
  3. 3.Foods high in 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)

1. What is 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) ?

5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a kind of natural "amino acid" produced by various life forms, plants and animals on the earth.

5-ALA produces heme (the source of hemoglobin) in humans and animals, and chlorophyll (the source of chloroplasts) in plants.
These are indispensable for the existence of life, and 5-ALA is called "the source substance of life".
For example, breathing. Heme creates "hemoglobin," which binds and separates oxygen from the heme, delivering oxygen from the lungs to every corner of the body.

Effect of 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)

①Immunity improves by activating mitochondria
The most promising effect of 5-ALA is the activation of mitochondria.
Mitochondria are present in most of the cells that build the body and are involved in most of life activities.
When the mitochondria are activated, production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) increases in our body.
ATP is also called the "currency of life energy" and is the direct energy for us to move muscles (muscle cells).

Mitochondria are also greatly involved in the body's immune function.
When a foreign substance such as a virus or a bacterium enters the body, cells with a protective function repel the foreign substance and try to expel it from the body. This kind of body reaction is called "immunity," and the cells responsible for the immune response are called "immune cells."

Immune cells include natural killer cells, B cells and T cells, but like other cells, immune cells use ATP as energy, so the mitochondria function sufficiently to give energy to immune cells. Is supplied, and immunity is maintained and improved.

②Antioxidant effect / Suppression of excessive immunity
Heme is essential for life activities, but if it increases too much, it will generate active oxygen and cause harm to the body (aging, etc.). So to avoid that, the body produces heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) when heme becomes excessive.
HO-1 destroys excess heme and keeps the amount of heme in the body constant. Bilirubin and carbon monoxide are produced by the destruction of heme, also bilirubin and carbon monoxide themselves have the function of eliminating active oxygen.


Furthermore, 5-ALA is known to have the effect of suppressing the excessive reaction (allergic reaction) of immune cells that should originally attack foreign substances by increasing HO-1 in immune cells.

2. 5-Aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) and COVID-19

I don't care about the dangers of COVID-19, and as mentioned above, I think that if you raise your immunity, everything will be solved. However, there seems to be a research result that "5-ALA has a function of suppressing COVID-19".

There are 4 reasons.
①The first is the action on the "spike protein" that triggers infection.
The virus has a protrusion called a spike protein on its surface, and it is predicted that heme and protoporphyrin produced from 5-ALA will bind to this protrusion.
The heme and protoporphyrin block the surface of the spike protein, which prevents the virus from invading the body.

②It is an inhibition of the "G4 structure" of the COVID-19.
The G4 structure is the structure of COVID-19 that is necessary for virus propagation. Heme and protoporphyrin bind to this 4G structure and inhibit the physiological function of the G4 structure, so even if the virus invades the body, it is thought to suppress the growth of the virus.

③Relieve symptoms and suppress hyperimmunity in critically ill patients.
As mentioned above, 5-ALA has anti-inflammatory effects and suppresses excessive immune response, so it is expected to relieve symptoms and suppress hyperimmunity in critically ill patients.

④It is also effective for sequelae.
It is also effective for sequelae. For example, if inflammation remains in the lung function and it is difficult to breathe even after healing, 5-ALA has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it can be expected to suppress the progression of inflammation and the inflammation itself. In addition, 5-ALA has the effect of activating mitochondria, so it is thought that it may lead to improvement of physical strength and recovery.

Regarding ① and ② above, the following are currently announced as research results at Nagasaki University.

  • 5-ALA suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infection in cultured cells.
  • The antiviral effect of 5-ALA was more effective on human cells than on non-human cells.
  • 5-ALA showed a concentration-dependent antiviral effect without cytotoxicity.

However, the results of this experiment didn't confirm the suppression of COVID-19 infection in the human body.
At this stage, the results are only in test tubes, so when we actually take them into our bodies, they may not work the same way.

Therefore, I personally think that it is early to conclude that it is effective against COVID-19, but it is certain that 5-ALA activates mitochondria and leads to an increase in immunity, so take it positively.

3. Foods high in 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA)

5-ALA is found in many foods, especially in black vinegar and sake, as shown in the figure.
The 5-ALA content of wine and sake seems to vary greatly depending on the fermentation condition and variety, but sake is the best!


5-ALA is also sold as a supplement, but I think it's better to take it from food on a daily basis than supplements, except to improve some illness or health problems.

Wine and sake may be difficult for people who are not good at alcohol. Genuine fermented foods such as black vinegar, natto, and soy sauce not only benefit from 5-ALA, but also have higher nutritional value, easier digestion and absorption, and activate immune cells than eating ordinary foods. So we are better to eat these food !

Let's improve your immunity from your daily meals with ease and deliciousness !!

Chika profile

Chika Sato

Bio life coordinator

medicinal cooking coordinator
food coordinator
yoga trainee
aroma therapist trainee
Couple nomad