About 5-ALA



5-ALA supports health, beauty and vitality.

With the hidden power of, it leads to unprecedented brilliance.

There is only one role for 5-ALA in the human body, as precursor of heme (haem). Apart from serving as key functional substance for formation of red pigment (hemoglobin) in the blood which distributes oxygen throughout the body, heme is also the central substance in the respiratory chain complex that produces energy from glucose and oxygen. Without 5-ALA we would not be able to gain energy or even move.

5-ALA is naturally
found within
almost every cell
in the body.

What is 5-ALA?

5-ALA supports health, beauty and vitality.

With the hidden power of 5-ALA, it leads to unprecedented brilliance.

Energy is produced from oxygen and nutrients from our diet. Energy is essential for the movement of all tissues in the body. Lack of energy leads to various disorders and aging of the body.

In other words, 5-ALA is a source of brilliance supporting health, beauty and vitality that is indispensable for us to continue to shine.

5-ALA ~ The Substance for ‘Source Of Life’

8 molecules of 5-ALA form the basic structure of Heme (Haem) and Chlorophyll. Heme is the central substance in the respiratory chain complex that produces energy from food and oxygen, which is the basis of our vital activities. Chlorophyll, on the other hand plays a central role in plant photosynthesis.

Plants produce oxygen and plant cells from light and carbon dioxide via photosynthesis. Animals, including humans, consume oxygen and plants to exhale carbon dioxide, which is used to grow the plant again. This energy cycle of life, which has been going on since ancient times , would never be possible without the two wheels, heme and chlorophyll – both of which are formed from 5-ALA.

5-ALA is regarded as the source of life on earth.

How is

5-ALA is made in the mitochondria of human cells. Mitochondria are our internal “energy production factories” that generate energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from oxygen and glucose. 5-ALA plays a vital role in enhancing mitochondrial function.


Energy Production

Rejuvenate Cells

Regulation of Innate Immunity

Action of 5-ALA in Mitochondria,
the “Energy Factory” of Cells

5-ALA is an important ingredient
that supports your health,
beauty & vitality

A substance called heme is indispensable for mitochondria to operate. This heme is produced only from 5-ALA and is involved in the production of ATP and the decomposition of reactive oxygen species.

In short, 5-ALA is an important ingredient that supports your health.

5-ALA ~ Metabolism

5-ALA is a type of amino acid originally found in the body and has the power to promote intracellular energy metabolism. 5-ALA becomes a substance called PPIX (porphyrin IX) in cells, and this PPIX has the characteristic of accumulating in cancer cells and emits light when exposed to specific light. Utilizing this property, it is being applied to the medical field such as identification of cancer sites during surgery.

Heme, formed by a combination of eight 5-ALAs, is the key to a number of vital activities. 5-ALA becomes a substance called heme in the body when iron is added. When a protein called globin binds to this substance, it becomes hemoglobin that carries oxygen. Due to these characteristics, it is expected to be applied to various fields.

Traces of 5-ALA in Food

Comparison of 5-ALA content in various food.

How to take 5-ALA 10mg from food..

Reference: Heme-constituting amino acid 5-ALA (5-aminolevulinic acid) – Current status for fermentation production, metabolism, and application development – Table 2 Amino acid research Vol.6, No.1, (2021)

FOOD 5-ALA [μg]
Potato 7.0~9.0
Tofu 1
Natto 25
Soy Sauce 22
Sauce 21.2
Sake 70~353
Wine 110~173
Mushroom 5~45
Black Vinegar 150
Soybean 5~7
Carrot 0.8
Spinach 13.8
Pepper 18.1
Tomato 9.8
Onion 1.1
Cabbage 1.3
FOOD 5-ALA [μg]
Cucumber 2
Napa Cabbage 0.7
Crown Daisy 5.2
Apple 0.8
Banana 31.6
Kyoho Grape 13.6
Salmon & Trout 0.2
Tuna (Lean) 0.8
Squid 38.4
Octopus 78.4
Minced Beef 9.8
Beef Rib 0.8
Minced Pork 5.6
Minced Chicken 4.3
Kelp 0.7

2nd ALA Science Forum Activity Report

Industrialization of 5-ALA

Innovations in technology over the years have led to consistent production of safe & high-quality 5-ALA

Over the years, it became easier to produce 5-ALA due to:

– Usage of state-of-the-art fermentation technology;
– Massive investments in R&D of production processes.

The microbial fermentation method, which can be called a Japanese specialty rooted in miso making, has taken over the research as a technology that anyone can use with peace of mind without using genetic modification. It is used in food products and commercialized.

In collaboration with partner companies and research institutes, we are making constant efforts to reach more people with products using 5-ALA through further product development and improvement of manufacturing technology.

5-ALA Research & Achievements

SBI Pharma has been collaborating with more than 30 universities and research institutes, including the University of Tokyo, Oxford University, and the Cancer Chemotherapy Center, to study how 5-ALA works in the body and its usefulness. The number of papers that are the result of research is more than 130, and the number of domestic patents obtained is more than 50. The usefulness of 5-ALA has been recognized not only in Japan but also among research institutes and experts around the world, and various studies are being conducted every day*. (As of October 2020)

Motowo Nakajima
Director & CSO of SBI ALApharma. Co., Ltd

Research on 5-ALA that exerts various functions.

After earning a PhD in pharmacy from the University of Tokyo, he worked as an assistant professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Graduate School at the University of Texas MD Anderson in the United States. He has been an assistant professor at the Institute of Applied Microbiology, the University of Tokyo, and an assistant professor at the Institute for Molecular Cell Biology, the same university. Joined SBI Pharmaceuticals after holding important positions at the Japanese subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis and Johnson & Johnson in the United States. He has served as a visiting professor and part-time lecturer at more than 20 national, public and private university corporations in Japan, the United States and China. Serve as a research evaluation committee member. He has a deep knowledge of cancer, immunity and infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, and skin care.


Trust, Achievements And Awards

[Japan’s first and only] Sales of foods with functional claims containing 5-ALA. Foods with functional claims are those that have been notified and accepted by the Consumer Affairs Agency after fully verifying the scientific basis for “functionality” and “safety”. ALA PLUS continues to focus on selling functional foods containing 5-ALA in order to provide products that are more satisfying and reliable. ALA PLUS is the first and only brand in Japan to handle functional foods containing 5-ALA.

Commitment to Quality

Hygiene Management System

We manufacture products under a thorough hygiene management system to prevent foreign substances from entering the products. Before entering the production line, change into clean work clothes, put on a cap and mask, and then use an air shower to blow off fine dust on the body to prevent foreign matter from entering.

Manufacturing System

We manufacture under a strict management system. Ingredients are mixed in a clean tank. Carefully mix the ingredients over time so that there is no variation. The mixed raw materials are molded into granules using a dedicated device.

Quality Control System

In order to deliver products that meet quality standards, supplements are carefully checked one by one. When packing in a package, we check both “number of grains” and “weight”.

Yours faithfully,

ABBACi Health Ltd.

Commitment to Quality


1. 5-ALA itself had obtained 60 patents over 35 countries for various type of ‘inventions’.

2. Supported by clinical studies conducted across Japan, UK, USA and UAE.

3. The first ever state-of-the-art yet natural microbial fermentation method WITHOUT genetic recombination and harmful chemicals. (Patent No. JP 4417865B2)

4. The remarkable method for treating diabetes with 5-ALA as an active ingredient. (Patent No. US 9095165B2)

5. 5-ALA is noted as ‘Precious’ – Hence never stop researching and discovering the untapped potential values, both therapeutic and non-therapeutic intrinsically.

6. On-going clinical researches across the Asian Region, UAE, UK and US.

(Genuine Only) 5-ALA Exclusive License

SBI Pharma manufactures and sells under the exclusive license for the patented substance of 5-ALA (5-aminolevulinic acid phosphate). In addition, the 5-ALA used by us is manufactured using the so-called “fermentation method”, which is the only 5-ALA approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for use in foods in Japan (*).

In order for customers to be able to identify the above-mentioned features of 5-ALA with peace of mind, “ALA PLUS Trademark ®” is shown as a proof of trust in the packaging of 5-ALA-blended products through SBI Pharma. Similar products sold by companies or dealers not authorized by us may contain ingredients or with a risk that safety is not guaranteed, so please be highly vigilant.

Contributing to biotechnology, medical care, and health with the future “source of life” created by 5-ALA

5-ALA is an amino acid produced by mitochondria in the body and is an important substance that is a raw material for functional molecules involved in energy production called heme and cytochrome. It is important for animals including humans to survive. It has function. As research progressed, it became clear that 5-ALA production declines with age, and that it is also contained in foods such as shochu lees, red wine, and ginseng, and it is also known as a raw material for plant chlorophyll. We are trying to contribute to health, medical care, agriculture, etc. by utilizing this 5-ALA.
(Excerpt from this book “Introduction”)

Author: Yoshitaka Kitao (SBI Group Representative)