It is said that ostriches have the strongest immune system of any animal in the world. Because of this, they have shown great promise in preventative healthcare in humans and the beauty industry.
“The antibodies are resistant to higher pH levels and can remain active even when exposed to heat of up to 100 degrees Celsius.”
Gene Shigekawa, managing partner of MAZ World
The process of harvesting antibodies from these huge birds involves injecting them with specific antigens and harvesting the antibodies from their eggs. Traditionally, antibodies have been extracted from the blood of small mammals such as rabbits or mice. As we become more conscious and uncomfortable with animal cruelty and incarceration, a few people have dedicated their lives to finding alternatives. The discovery of the powerful antibodies inside the yolk of ostriches by Japanese veterinary Professor Yasuhiro Tsukamoto has the potential to save the lives of animals and humans alike. This method does not harm the animal and yields 4 grams of purified antibody from each egg. Ostriches have a long reproductive life, laying 100 ginormous eggs per year for as many as 55 years making it possible to mass manufacture natural antibodies at a much lower cost than with other techniques.
The veterinary professor (now operating as a part of biotech Maz World) was part of a team that examined the deaths of birds in 2004 when avian influenza hit farms in western Japan. The investigation spurred him into producing flu-fighting antibodies from ostriches. These were then lined into masks to appeal to the Japanese and prevent them for coming down with the deadly flu.
Additionally, beauty companies such as ZEAL Cosmetics have combined the refined antibodies with potent peptides and hydrators to create anti-ageing skin treatments. The antibodies can bind to a bacteria, microbe or enzyme and neutralize only the targeted substance without damaging the surrounding cells.
Mr Osamu Maeda, President of Zeal Cosmetics said, “The ostrich antibody has demonstrated excellent effectiveness in skin care by balancing the bacteria environment on the skin, and also showed promising results for daily care products. Our antibody products are now recognised and trusted by both medical professionals and end-user consumers alike.”
Ostriches strong immune systems make them highly resistant to viral infections. Japanese researchers have discovered how to mass produce natural ostrich antibodies that are effective against influenza, avian flu, MERS, Zika and even the Ebola virus. “The antibodies are resistant to higher pH levels and can remain active even when exposed to heat of up to 100 degrees Celsius.” Gene Shigekawa, managing partner of MAZ World told us. “This is a huge benefit in distribution. In markets such as Africa, where the logistics are feeble and daily temperatures are high, our antibody technology can remain active and products such as HIV testing kits, will not be damaged.”
It seems as though the health benefits of ostrich antibodies are endless, “One example of the diverse uses of the antibody is as a weight loss solution.” Said Shigekawa. “The antibody can be used to control digestive enzyme and block the body’s absorption of sugars and fats from daily food consumption. This way, consumers can detect the results without having to make drastic changes to their diets and disrupt their lifestyle.”
After finding success in the Japanese skin care market, Maz World moved to Hong Kong Science Park (HKSP). The company hopes to combine their research and the developed tech available in Hong Kong to further develop their health and beauty products.
This new antibody is one of the most innovative technologies in Japan. It has already been patented worldwide and endorsed by the Japan Science and Technology Agency.
As the demand for innovative solutions in health and beauty continues to grow MAZ World hopes to expand their business to overseas markets, so you may get to experience the benefits of the big bird sooner than you think.
Read our full interview with Gene Shigekawa, managing partner of MAZ World