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Beta Glucans Review, Immune System Booster or Not?

Last updated 2/5/2019 by Dan and Dr. Taylor

Beta glucans is a polysaccharide type of fiber that is typically extracted from shitake and maitake mushrooms and bakers yeast. It is also found in oats and barley.

However, the variety derived from oats and barley has what is known as a beta 1,3/1,4-glucan linkage. The type derived from mushrooms and bakers yeast has a beta-1,3/1,6-glucan. As you will read below, beta 1,3/1,6-glucan has the greatest effects in the body.

The best products are more effective if they use a purification process that removes the mannoproteins and yeast residues leaving pure 1,3/1,6 beta glucans.

What Are Beta Glucans Good For?

It stimulates immune function:

Beta glucans can be very beneficial because they stimulate neutrophil and macrophage activity throughout the body. These are the primary immune system cells responsible for removing yeasts and fungi of all kinds. They also attack foreign bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells.

Beta glucans for yeast bind to phagocytes and macrophages at certain receptor sites, which activates their infection and tumor fighting abilities. It seems to cause these cells to produce free radicals which signals the white blood cells to engulf diseased tissues, bacteria, foreign pathogens, fungi, and tumor cells.

beta glucans

Researchers at Brown Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital discovered that beta glucans for yeast caused the neutrophils to take a more direct route to the infection. This study seemed to indicate the enhanced ability of the neutrophils to detect foreign invaders in the body including yeast.

In a study done on anthrax and mice it was found that beta glucans for yeast stimulate the production and activation of white blood cells in the bone marrow. This results in higher levels of neutrophils and macrophages, which are the first immune system cells to defend against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

There are many studies at the National Library of Medicine pertaining to the effectiveness of beta glucan for the immune system.

The beta glucans for yeast recommended here was the #1 immune system product out of 440 products (mostly prescription) evaluated by the US Army against lethal doses of anthrax spores in controlled laboratory tests (JANA Vol. 5, No. 2, Spring 2002: 16-20).

There also have been over 1,600 research papers on Beta 1,3-D Glucan since the 1960s. Research from the prestigious medical schools of Harvard, Tulane, Baylor, and Washington Universities all attest to the immune activating properties of Beta Glucan.

Beta glucans for yeast has recently been included in testing by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in collaboration with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Beta Glucan Helps With Cancer

According to doctors Adachi Y, Okazaki M, Ohno N, and Yadomae T at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, beta glucan stimulates the production of cytokines used in cell-to-cell communication that stimulates the macrophages to inhibit tumor reproduction and to kill the tumor.

In scientific studies done on mice with cancer, mice treated with beta glucans had a 28% greater survival rate than those without.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1975 reported that nine cancer patients were injected with beta glucan directly into the tumor. All nine people had a reduction of tumor cells within five days and also experienced the subsequent destruction of the cancer from increased immune system activity.

Studies in Japan have seen a subsequent five to six-year longer life span of cancer patients that received the extract.

Beta glucan enhanced the survival rate and improved the white blood cell recovery rate in mice exposed to radiation, a recent study in the journal Blood Reports., Sept. 22nd 2005.

A published JANA article also shows test data documenting over a 20% reduction in tumor weight after three (3) weeks of beta glucan usage.

Beta Glucan Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels

According to a recent double-blind, randomized, crossover study performed by  doctors Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Vuksan V, Vidgen E, Parker T, Faulkner D, Mehling CC, Garsetti M, Testolin G, Cunnane SC, Ryan MA, Corey PN at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consumption of beta glucans fiber and psyllium four times daily is likely to significantly reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 May;75(5):834-9

One study involving over 12,000 subjects ages 45 to 64 who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), which tracked the health of participants from four communities in Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina and Maryland for 15 years. 3,363 of these subjects were black and the rest were white subjects.

The black subjects experienced a 28 percent reduction LDL cholesterol and an 88 percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. The 9,524 white subjects experienced a 15 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol and a 47 percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med. 2006 Mar 23;354(12):1264-72.

Beta Glucans Side Effects & Risks

Beta glucans are likely safe when taken by mouth at doses of less than 5 grams or 5,000mgs. Which is not an issue because most supplement manufacturers recommend 500mg once or twice a day. This puts you well under the medically recommended limit.

It should not be taken while pregnant. In dong so the possibility exists that the increased immune function could cause a miscarriage.

It is possible that the increased immune function caused by taking beta glucans could offset any prescription drugs, such as steroids, that reduce immune function. Please talk to your pharmacist about any interactions prior to taking this supplement.

The Best Beta Glucan Supplements

Remember this simple fact about the published research on Beta Glucans for Yeast:

There are absolutely NO published research on Beta Glucan with an active linkage below 80%. All the existing scientific research strongly points to the fact that any Beta Glucan product with an active linkage below 80% will not work!

The active linkage is simply the 1,3 and 1,6 linkage in the Beta Glucan product. If its not 80% or higher, the product will not work.

Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucans will:

  • Supercharge your immune system to kill yeasts, fungi and pathogenic organisms.

  •  Increase cell-to-cell communication so it is easier for the immune system to identify foreign invaders and toxic cells.

  • Protect you from flu’s and other viruses.

  • Help the immune system remove cancer cells before it spreads.

  • Protect you from anthrax or other biological weapons in the event of a terrorist attack.

  •  Lower your risk of heart disease.

  • Reduce and help normalize LDL Cholesterol levels.

  •  Extend your life span by up to six years.

Immune Health Basics Beta Glucans is an outstanding Beta Glucans for yeast product that is very high quality. The yeast and mannoprotein residues have been removed so the product is more pure.

Article written by Dan and edited for accuracy by Dr. Taylor

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Nakano H, et al. A multi-institutional prospective study of lentinan in advanced gastric cancer patients with unresectable and recurrent disease: effects on prolongation of survival and improvement of quality of life. Kanagawa Research Group. Hepatogastroenterology 1999;46:2662-8.

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Pathol Oncol Res. 2017 Jul 29. doi. High- and low-Molecular Weight oat Beta-Glucan Reveals Antitumor Activity in Human Epithelial Lung Cancer.

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