Get past all noise to find out what scientists and researchers have to say about the immune modulating effects of Beta Glucan
Seems like everyone nowadays is making a claim on this or that product and what it will do to help your immune system. With so many of us stuck at home due to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation we have been bombarded with these types of messages. I'm going to cut through the noise and let you know what real scientists and researchers have been saying about beta glucan for decades.
Beta Glucan Does Modulate Your Immune System
The Immune modulating effects of Beta Glucan study by Murphy, Davis and Carmichael summarized that Beta Glucans appear effective at enhancing immune function and reducing the susceptibility to infection and cancer. In the hot air or silver bullet study, Vetvicka and Vetvickova state that over 6000 studies conclusively agree that Beta Glucan does modulate your immune system. If you are short on time or don't want to read more, you can stop right here or simply skip down to the bottom and go read some of the studies yourself.
Does Modulating Mean Boosting Your Immune System?
Maybe. Sometimes the immune system needs a stronger response and other times it needs to be pulled back. The immune system requires a balance between the different types of cells that work together for our immune system to function effectively. Suppressor cells work to keep the immune system from becoming over-active. Natural killer T cells attack virus containing cells while memory T cells remember what to look for to prevent future infections.
When the body is fighting off disease, we want those killer cells attacking any virus containing cells but we don't want them to go crazy and start attacking our own body. The suppressor cells are going to work to prevent that. It's a delicate system that all works together. Beta glucan sometimes boosts one aspect of the immune system while at other times holds other parts back so that it can function more efficiently.
What type of Beta Glucan is best at Immune Modulation?I'm glad you asked. To answer I'm going to summarize a few things from Jan Raa's study for you. Raa found that only very few beta-glucan structures, notable beta-1,3/1,6-glcuans, are bioactive in the sense that they interact with receptors on immune cells for specific biological responses. Plant beta glucans typically have only 1,3 linkages and don't activate macrophages. Mushroom beta glucans usually only have a single 1,6 chain linkage which stimulates a low level of macrophage activity. Structurally intact baker's yeast beta glucans like those found in Immunity Power have multiple 1,6 chain linkages and are the most active for improving immune function.
Thanks for sticking around and reading. If you want to learn more, you can check out these research studies:
- Immune-modulatory effects of dietary Yeast Beta-1,3/1,6-D-glucan by Heike Stier, Veronika Ebbeskotte & Joerg Gruenwald
- Immune modulation by non-digestible and non-absorbable beta -1,3/1,6 glucan by Jan Raa
- Immune modulating effects of β-glucan by E. Angela Murphy, J. Mark Davis, and Martin D. Carmichael
β 1,3-Glucan: Silver Bullet or Hot Air? by V. Vetvicka and J Vetvickova
How has Beta Glucan Worked for You?
What has been your experience with beta glucan modulating your immune system? We'd love for you to share your experiences in the comments.