Versatile and extremely beneficial for a healthy lifestyle; Beta Glucans are easily a miraculous substance. They occur naturally and are extracted from the cell walls of yeast to make supplemental versions. In most forms, it is an isolate with all potentially harmful proteins removed for those who may be allergic to yeast. Glucans have many functions but there are two in particular that are of great interest: The ability to enhance and complement the immune system and its ravenous antioxidant properties.
Well known as a potent biological response modifier (BRM) Glucans support the immune system nutritionally. Its therapeutic effects are carried out through Macrophage interaction enhancing the production, size and function of NK-Cells, T-Cells and B-Cells. These cells, as a matter of course, are necessary to wage war against bacteria, microbes, viruses and fungi. In addition, extensive research has confirmed that immune systems supported by quality Beta Glucans initiated increased phagocytosis (ingestion of pathogenic organisms) and increased apoptosis (cellular death) among tumor cells.
Corporations spend millions of dollars on so-called research and millions more on advertisements to convince us to get this vaccine or another. Perhaps a great place to start for true immune modulation, as opposed to vaccine induced immune lethargy, is with Beta Glucans.
We come under attack daily through non-wholesome foods, environmental exposure to harmful substances, microwaves in our homes, etc., etc. These attacks can lead to free radical production and then free radical damage. Glucans, while serving as an immune enhancer, also functions extensively as an anti-oxidant. Decades of research has been conducted and demonstrates heightened free radical scavenging activity and the ability to alleviate tissue injury due to oxidative (free radical) stress. It can also assist in preventing radiation scarring and damage whether it is from an environmental source or from the treatment for cancers.
Before rushing out to get Beta Glucans supplements, it is important to note that size matters. Many inferior versions contain large particulate sizes that also tend to re-aggregate (clump together) once ingested. Look for Glucans that have small particle sizes (one to two microns) for the best absorption with little chance of aggregation. Do not be afraid to research and ask questions when considering which supplement to use.
Considered safe and non-toxic Beta Glucans also have no known contra-indications with pharmaceutical medications. It is never a bad idea; however, to consult with a trusted healthcare professional before taking a supplement.
Sources for this article include:
Beta Glucans Information: Natural News 5/20/2008 - Barley Beta-Glucan Fiber Lowers Coronary Heart Disease Risk
Beta Glucans Information: Life Extentions Magazine - The Immune-Enhancing Benefits Of Beta Glucans