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Beta Glucan and Cancer 

Beta Glucan is the primary treatment for Cancer in Asia.

Beta Glucan has been the primary treatment for cancer in most of Asia for the past 40+ years. 

Their approach is to stimulate the immune system to fight the cancer.

The approach for treating cancer in Asia is different than Western Medicine. It is believed the primary reason a person develops cancer is a sudden change in their immune system.

All people have cancer cells in their body. These cancer cells normally do not present a serious health threat because a person's immune system finds and destroys them. When the immune system fails to recognize or kill the cancer cells, they can develop into tumors. Since it is believed that a failure of the immune system is the likely cause for a person developing cancer, the concept is to help the immune system start to recognize the cancer; something it should have done in the first place. 

The Asian approach is different than Western Medicine's approach.

The Western Medicine approach is to remove the cancer and/or destroy the cancer with chemo or radiation. Normally, the chemo or radiation will weaken a person's immune system. If 100% of the cancer is not removed or destroyed, the immune system is less able to deal with the remaining cancer cells that might remain, and the tumors return. 

It is common for people with cancer to look for alternatives. 

It is not uncommon for a person that has had more than one round of treatments to search the Internet for conjunctive treatments for cancer, especially if their health continues to decline. Since Beta Glucan has over 2000 published studies on its positive effects on cancer, most people will find a Beta Glucan website.

How beta glucan works:

Even though beta glucan has been intensely researched for over 30 years by Western Medicine, how it works is not completely understood; however, the effects of beta glucan on cancer cannot be dismissed.

The following is the most accepted explanation: 

The specific combination of molecules in a "1,3/1,6" pattern found in beta glucan has been proven to dock with the CR4 receptor of macrophages and natural killer cells in your body which activate them. 

The immune system works on a concept of "self v. non-self."

Simply put, your immune system should know what belongs in your body, and its job is to kill everything else.

The immune system views beta glucan as something foreign or "non-self." Your immune system sees the beta glucan as something that will cause your body great harm. Your immune system, will react, will find the beta glucan, kill it, and remove it from your body.

The next day, you take more beta glucan, and the cycle of finding it, killing it, and removing it is repeated.

Each time the cycle is completed, your immune system becomes stronger and more aggressive. At some point, the immune system should become strong enough and aggressive enough that it starts to recognize the original cancer cells and starts to kill them. Simply put, beta glucan gives your immune system a serious "work out," which makes it stronger and more aggressive. It is not much different than having a weak arm - to make it stronger you have to exercise it.

Beta Glucan works differently.

Beta Glucan does not cure cancer; it works on the likely cause of the cancer - an immune system that does not perform correctly.

Beta Glucan is safe.

The FDA has given beta glucan a G.R.A.S. rating (generally recognized as safe).

There is very little risk using beta glucan as a conjunctive cancer treatment. It would be very unlikely that it would negatively effect any conventional cancer treatment. Beta Glucan is also used widely at "cancer clinics."

If you are going to research Beta Glucan and its effects on cancer, and you should, don't do it on retail websites; use the New England Journal of Medicine, or the Mayo Clinic data bases, or similar, reputable medical sources.

Why hasn't my doctor suggested Beta Glucan?

If you are on a conventional treatment program, you should discuss taking beta glucan with your doctors. The likely reason a doctor will not suggest taking beta glucan is that it is not an accepted treatment for cancer in the United States.

What you need to know if you are considering using Beta Glucan as a conjunctive cancer treatment:

First, and most importantly, beta glucan is a fairly generic substance. It comes from several sources which, in their "raw" state, do not have much, if any, immune system benefits.

What is unique about most beta glucans is that they contain a chain of very specific, terminal linked, glucose molecules in a 1,3/1,6 pattern. 

This is why advanced immune system products are called "Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan" and not just "Beta Glucan." 

The critical factor is that you are not looking for "Beta glucan"; you are looking for Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage or terminal-linked 1,3 and 1,6 glucose molecules. Only the 1,3 and 1,6 linkage molecules have been proven to stimulate the immune system.

Beta glucan just happens to be a generic name of the raw material used to extract the Active Linkage. Focus on Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage, not beta glucan!

Where does Beta Glucan come from?

There are many sources of beta glucan: yeast, mushrooms, seaweed, barley, and numerous other natural grains.

What the various sources have in common is varying percentages of naturally occurring Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage.

Which type Beta Glucan is the "best"? 

Mushroom and yeast based beta glucans are the most common. Barley Beta glucan is becoming more popular to treat high cholesterol but has very little Active Linkage in it.

Mushroom beta glucan has more published research than Yeast beta glucan, but mushroom beta glucan has been used for a much longer period of time than yeast. There really is very minimal research on any other sources of beta glucan and its effects on cancer.

The best beta glucan is likely mushroom based. 

Mushroom based beta glucan is what is used to treat cancer throughout Asia. If you are considering Mushroom based beta glucan, there are pros and cons.

The primary benefits of mushroom based beta glucan is it is absorbed in the stomach; yeast based beta glucan is absorbed in the intestines.

Since there is no such thing as a beta glucan that is 100% Active Linkage, there are always unwanted molecules attached to the Active Linkage.

It does not really matter what is "attached" to the Active Linkage of a mushroom based beta glucan; the product will still work. However, unwanted molecules attached to yeast based beta glucan can destroy its immune system benefits. For this reason, mushroom beta glucan is better than yeast based beta glucan.

Mushroom Beta Glucan will not work for YOU.

The mushroom based beta glucan used to treat cancer in Asia is call PKS Kristin or PKS. It is only sold by prescription and is covered under most health insurance plans.

You cannot buy this exact material on the internet, but you can purchase similar mushroom based beta glucan products.

What a retailer selling Mushroom beta glucan will not tell you:

The daily dose for mushroom beta glucan to treat cancer in Asia is normally based on body weight. A 200 pound person needs to take twice the amount as a 100 pound person.

The average dose used to treat cancer in Asia is between 1.5 grams and 3 grams. 

The daily dose is huge because Mushroom beta glucan has only about 10%, or less, Active Linkage in it. In Asia, the material is sold in a bulk form and is normally mixed with a liquid, such as juice. 

Mushroom based beta glucan found on the Internet is normally sold in caplets (though some are sold in 1 oz liquid bottles). It will be rare to find a product that is more than 100 mg per caplet. Below are two examples of mushroom based beta glucan from the Internet. 

Beta Glucan (Reishi Mushroom) 100mg 120 caps $29.95 

Standardized Maitake Mushroom Beta Glucan 20 mg 60 gel caps $12.95

Unless you are willing to take a substantial quantity of mushroom based beta glucan, it is unlikely it will produce any meaningful immune system benefits. For this reason, you need to be careful of the out of text claims that might be found on a retail web site selling Mushroom based beta glucan. Your focus should be on researching the amount of a mushroom based product needed to generate a meaningful immune response .

Yeast Based Beta Glucan has much more Active Linkage than Mushroom Beta Glucan.

Yeast based beta glucan contains a higher percentage of Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage than mushroom based beta glucans, ranging from about 20% to 90%, and costs less.

The most serious issue on Yeast based beta glucan is its level of purity - purity being defend as the actual percentage of Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage in the material.

If a yeast based product is 20% Active Linkage, 80% of the material is "something else." The "something else" will be a small percentage of other side chain linkage molecules, such as 3,6, 2,3 linked glucose, but the vast majority of the "something else" will be fat and protein molecules.

A 20% product will produce no immune system benefits because: 1) most of the Active Linkage is covered up with fat and protein molecules, and your immune system will never "see" or respond to it. Your immune system simply views low purity beta glucan as another "glob" of fat/protein in your body. The immune system only reacts to the shape of the 1,3/1,6 linked molecules. Fat and protein simply confuse the Active Linkage. 2) The higher the percentage of fat, the less of the material will be absorbed. 

The issue of fat and protein is so critical, all the published tests on yeast based beta glucan have been done with a level of purity of 80% or higher. There is no published proof a product with less than 80% Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage will work in humans.

This is also the reason taking twice as much of a less pure product (such as 60%) to save money, will not be as effective as a small dose of a more pure product. 

If you are going to use yeast based beta glucan as a conjunctive treatment for cancer, it would be in your best interest to confirm that its actual percentage of 1,3/1,6 linkage is equal or greater than 80%.

What dose do I need to take as a conjunctive therapy for cancer?

Beta Glucan is defined by the FDA as a "dietary supplement." No dose information can be provided for a specific condition, and no claims can be made that it will cure anything. This is true for any type of dietary supplement.

The normal stated dose on a bottle of beta glucan is generally two caplets a day for a 60 count bottle. It does not matter if the product is 10 mg per caplet or 500 mg per caplet; the general rule is the entire contents of a bottle are taken evenly over a 30 day period.

A good reference point might be obtained from reviewing dosages from the published test data. Though the doses in individual tests vary, the most common average appears to be about 11-12 milligrams (mg) per pound of body weight. 

If you are considering beta glucan as a conjunctive treatment for cancer, we suggest you adhere to the published information on product purity and consume an amount of Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage that would be reasonable for your body weight.

How Beta Glucan products are sold:

Some retailers will exploit an FDA guideline that allows all beta glucan products to claim their product is "100% beta glucan" or "pure beta glucan." If an uninformed consumer sees a reasonably priced bottle of Beta Glucan with the words "Pure Beta Glucan" printed on the bottle, he will assume no other product would be better. 

The claim of "pure" is true, but it has nothing to do with the amount of Active Linkage in the product. A retailer promoting a product with only 20% Active Linkage can claim his product is 100% pure beta glucan just as easily as a high end 85% product.

Additional confusion occurs if the retailer's website exploits published research in such a way the average customer will assume the information presented is on the product being offered for sale. Web sites impress customers; Active Linkage impresses immune systems. 

Most Beta 1,3/1,6 Glucan sold as an immune system product will have Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage in the 50% to 70% range. Since there is no published proof that products in this range produce meaningful immune responses in humans, you will have to evaluate if a lower price is worth a lower purity level.

If you have cancer, and are considering beta glucan as a conjunctive treatment, it will be in your best interest to absolutely be 100% sure of the amount of Active 1,3/1,6 Linkage in the product.

Southeastern Pharmaceutical Wholesale, Inc., Online Shopping, Hoover, AL Transfer Point Beta glucan

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