Beta-Glucans: The Incredible Immune Fiber
Beta-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides (fiber) in the cell walls of functional mushrooms, such as Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake and Turkey Tail. You can also find them in oats, barley, bacteria, yeast, and algae. Beta-glucans are a soluble fiber that carries powerful and wide-ranging health benefits.
The healing and immunostimulating properties of mushrooms have been known for thousands of years in ancient cultures such as China, Greece, Egypt and the Americas, and much of these health benefits stem from beta-glucans.
Beta-glucans support healthy:
- digestion and gut bacteria
- cholesterol and triglyceride levels
- body weight and blood sugar levels
- immune system function
- skin and aging
Incredible Immune Modulators
Beta-glucan-containing foods and supplements can play an important role in supporting overall health and wellness. Known for their ability to activate the immune system, Beta-glucans act as “immunomodulators” providing immune system balance. Incredibly, they can boost a weak immune system, or down-regulate an overactive one. This incredible fiber increases host immune defense by priming the immune system, enhancing macrophages and natural killer cell function. Beta-glucans even show anticarcinogenic activity, reducing tumor proliferation and preventing tumor metastasis.
How Do Beta-Glucans Work?
As soluble fiber, Beta-glucans dissolve partially in water and slow the transit of food in the intestine. This slows carbohydrates absorption, allowing us to feel satiated longer. As food is digested more slowly, the body does not absorb sugar as quickly which helps support healthy blood sugar levels. This indigestible, soluble fiber travels through the entire digestive tract, attaching to the cholesterol in food and helping to excrete it from the body. Beta-glucans also have powerful antioxidant properties and the ability to produce healthy short-chain fatty acids in the intestine, which can also have a positive impact on metabolism.
Beta-Glucans Benefits Recap
Beta-glucans provide a wide array of health benefits. They reduce cholesterol and triglycerides for overall heart health. They help maintain healthy body weight by increasing satiation and supporting blood sugar levels. Beta-glucans also promote healthy gut bacteria in the intestinal tract as well as beneficial short-chain fatty acids. They modulate the immune system, down-regulating or stimulating it to provide balanced immune function. Beta-glucans even promote healthy aging as they help moisturize and firm the skin, promoting a smooth appearance.
We don’t produce Beta-glucans so it’s important to incorporate them into our diet. Beta-glucans are found in functional mushrooms, including Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake and Turkey Tail, oats, whole grains and certain seaweeds. Eat these foods or take a supplement such as Amplified Immunity which contains a whopping 225 mg dose per capsule of clinically studied Beta-1,3/1,6-Glucan derived from baker's yeast!