Alternative names: Beta-1,3-Glucan, Beta-Glucan, Beta Glucan, Beta-1,3-D-Glucan.
Beta glucan is a naturally derived polysaccharide which has been studied for its anti-tumor and immune stimulating properties.
Beta Glucan is a unique polysaccharide composed of glucose molecules extracted and purified from the cell wall of common baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It can also be extracted from oats.
The carbohydrate polymers known as Beta-1,3-d-glucans exert potent effects on the immune system – stimulating anti-tumor and antimicrobial activity, for example – by binding to receptors on macrophages and other white blood cells and activating them.
Beta-1,3-glucan is a safe and potent nutritional supplement with a systemic effect that can be described as non-specific immune stimulation combined with its free radical scavenging activity. Some of the biological events caused by this stimulation are:
Beta glucan is used to maintain or stimulate the effectiveness of the immune system. Both animal and human cell culture studies have shown that beta glucan can stimulate several aspects of immune function, such as phagocytosis and interleukin production.
Groups of people that are considered to benefit from beta-1,3-glucan supplementation include:
Beta glucan may be helpful in blood sugar control. The addition of beta-glucan predictably reduces the glycemic index. In a 50gm carbohydrate portion each gram of beta-glucan reduces the glycemic index by 4 units, making it a useful functional food component for reducing postprandial glycemia.
Beta-1,3-glucan is Generally Recognized As Safe (category GRAS according to FDA) and has no toxicity or side-effects.
Beta 1, 3-glucan is commercially extracted and found in the common yeast. It is also found in oats and oat or rye sprouts. It stimulates macrophage and neutrophil function.
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