Beta Glucan products
What is Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan?
Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan is an all-natural, food-based dietary
supplement purified from the cell wall of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyes
cerevisae). Technically it is a highly refined carbohydrate made
up of a string of glucose molecules, with the fats, proteins and
other polysaccharides removed. Other sources of Beta glucan
are oats, barley, mushrooms and algae. Most of these are only
slightly active, or in some cases not at all. For optimum
activation of the immune response, many research studies show that
the best results come from Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan
extracted from baker’s yeast.
How does it work?
Beta Glucan stimulates the macrophage, a white blood cell
that is responsible for a multitude of actions which protect and
enhance the immune system, and provide optimum resistance to any
possible health assailants. Macrophage cells are one of the
principal cell types involved in natural immunity. They swallow up
foreign particles and destroy them. Macrophages produce chemicals
that signal other immune cells to move to the site of infection
and produce such effects as fever. Macrophages also produce
growth factors for cells that repair injured tissues.
immune functions are improved, including phagocytosis (ability to
engulf foreign cells and particles) release of certain cytokines
(intercellular hormones) IL-1, IL-6, GM-CSF, interferons, and the
processing of antigens. Macrophages are involved in everyday
detoxifying processes, intestinal flora maintenance,
anti-infective and anti-tumor protection and maintenance of
overall health integrity.
Glucan taken orally differs from other food substances. This type
of glucan is acid resistant so it passes through the stomach
virtually unchanged. Macrophages in the mucous lining of the
intestinal wall pick up the beta glucan particles through beta
glucan receptors. Immediate activation of these cells follows, and
they are later able to travel back to the local lymph nodes (Peyer’s
Patch) as part of their natural antigen-presenting function, to
release cytokines and induce systematic immune activation.
Are the effects of Beta Glucan backed by scientific research?
Yes, numerous scientific studies originating from such prestigious
institutions as Tulane University and Harvard Medical School exist
to attest to the immuno-activating and protective effects of
Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan.
should take Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan?
Anyone who wants to maintain or enhance the effectiveness of his
or her immune system; people who experience daily stress; those
who want to slow the aging process; people who are susceptible to
allergies, autoimmune disease, infectious disease, slow and
incomplete healing, and those who suffer from HIV/AIDS, or cancer.
Beta Glucan should be taken as a daily supplement because your
immune system will fluctuate from day to day. When it’s in its
“down” phases of this cycle, you will be prone to
illness. People who have impaired immunity from any cause
including chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or persistent viruses,
can take beta Glucan to bolster their defenses. Those who
suffer from chronic degenerative disorders such as diabetes
mellitus or chronic inflammation may also benefit from Beta Glucan’s
immune enhancement. Those habitually exposed to environmental
pollutants, UV radiation, and other toxins could benefit from the
antioxidant effect and potent free-radical scavenger
What dosage should I take?
Studies have established a recommended human dosage of
approximately 2 milligrams of Beta Glucan daily per kilogram of
body weight [body weight /2.2 =Kilos X 25 = Mg/day | 130 pounds in
body weight = 1,500 mg]. This dosage of particulate yeast Beta
Glucan is based on results of a human biomarker clinical study and
is consistent with the effective dose in more than one dozen
important is Beta Glucan purity?
The difference may have significant health consequences. As with
many foods, a small portion of the population should avoid Baker's
yeast. Extensive research has demonstrated that a component of the
yeast cell called “mannan” may trigger an allergic reaction or
inflammatory bowel flare in individuals with yeast allergies,
Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Crohn’s Disease. Unfortunately,
some Beta Glucan dietary supplements manufacturers fail to
adequately separate the Beta glucan from the mannan and
mannoproteins and other components of the yeast cell.
situation on the current market can be even more confusing. There
are companies offering glucans from various sources, glucans of
various activities and of course, glucans differing in price.
Unfortunately, several commercial sources of Beta Glucan offer
inferior product, consisting either from crude extracts or mostly
from glucose or mannose. When trying to decide which Beta Glucan
is the best, always look for respected manufacturer backing its
glucan with its own research. Remember that every company can put
together a list of scientific paper, but only the good company is
involved in independent research and has respected scientist on
Are there any side effects and can I take it when I am on other
Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan is a baker’s yeast extract which has been
given a G.R.A.S. rating (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the
FDA. In order to obtain this rating, no known side effects
or adverse reactions can be associated with the substance.
Furthermore, there are no known adverse effects when taken in
conjunction with pharmacological drugs or herbal remedies. In
fact, Beta ,3/1,6 Glucan has been shown to enhance the effects of
antibiotics and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Can I over stimulate my immune system with Beta 1-3/1-6
Whereas there are some immune support supplements that can over
stimulate your immune system, Beta 1-3/1-6 Glucan is not one of
these. With Beta 1-3/1-6 Glucan you can not over stimulate
your immune system. The macrophage stays in an alert or
ready mode until the presence of “non-self” entities such as
viruses, bacteria, fungi, cancer, parasites, etc. are
detected, at which time the macrophage is activated and
becomes the first line of defense against any invader.
Is ‘Micronized’ Beta Glucan Better?
There is a large body body of preclinical animal research
demonstrating the effectiveness of Whole Glucan Particle Beta
Glucan in cancer, radiation and several infectious disease models.
There are no controlled and published studies demonstrating the
effectiveness of submicron particles in a disease model system.
Don’t be fooled by marketing gimmicks about “micronized”
How long has this been studied and why haven’t I heard of this
Beta Glucan has been studied for over 30 years and has long been
available to laboratories and medical schools – often at a very
high cost. Only recently have reputable dietary supplement
manufacturers perfected manufacturing processes which can provide
a pure, potent supply of Beta Glucan at a reasonable cost.
Vetvicka, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Department of
Pathology, Division of Experimental Immunology and Immunopathology
of the School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville,