WHAT IS BETA GLUCAN
Beta Glucan is primarily cultured extract of Baker's Yeast cell wall. It is used as an immunostimulant. Beta glucans are sugar molecules (polysaccharides). They are found bound together as a sugar/protein complex. Certain plants and microorganisms are naturally high in this polysaccharide compound. The richest concentrated source is baker's yeast cell walls. (Because there is basically no yeast left in the products and they have low protein levels, it is considered hypoallergenic.) It is present in lesser amounts in mushroom extracts and Lentinen, Barley, Oat, etc. Sodium alginate is also an excellent source, but the high sodium content is a major drawback in the processing for supplemental use. An expensive research extract called Zymosan™ has been used for doing research for over 45 years. Much of the research has been in combining it with conventional approaches, such as chemotherapy, but it has been found to work well on its own.
What glucans seem to do is to stimulate/irritate your white blood cells called Macrophages into action. There is actually beta glucan receptors displayed by immune cells that the lectin fits right into like a lock and key and switches on or activates the macrophage to do it's job...clean up. Increased macrophage activity triggers a whole cascade of immune events, which basically boost immune response, which improves Natural Host Resistance. It also stimulates the production of immune cells.
It is proven beneficial for conditions related to immunity. Here are a few of the abstract references available:
- Anti-Tumor Effects. Mediates Destruction of Malignant Cells (J. Nat'l. Cancer Inst. 54, No.3:571, 1975
- Inhibits Tumor Growth & Enhances Survival Rates (Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 121A: 269-290, 1980)
- Stimulates Tumor Cell Destruction (Scand.J.Immunol. 15:297-304 / Diss.Abst. Int.Sci. 48:1263, 1987)
- Inproved Host Resistance to all types of different infections (Trends in Pharm.Sciences, 433:344-347, 1983)
- Haults & Reverses Radiation Damage. (Radiation Research 117:59-69, 1989 / USAF Radiobioklogy Inst., Bethesda, MD)
- Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-proteincomplexes.
- Curr Med Chem 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29/ Ooi VE, Liu F./ Department of Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
In Japan, extracts containing various types of Beta glucan have been used to successfully assist in treating cancer patients for the last 20 years. See Aoki, T. Chapter 4, Lentinan. In: Modulation Agents and their Mechanism. Richard L. Fenichel (Ed), Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York and Basel, pp 63-77 (1984).
There appears to be a synergistic relationship between Beta-Glucan and Vitamin C, so many clinics combine both in their treatments. Some of the clinics who use it in their treatments include: Europa Clinic and many clinics in Japan.
Sources of the product include: