It’s a well-known fact that high-fiber foods offer a range of essential benefits. However, not all fibers are the same. Beta-glucan is a specific type of fiber that provides some significant health benefits – most notably, immunity – so it’s worth learning more about.
What is beta-glucan?
Beta-glucan is a type of fiber found in certain plants, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and supplements. Fiber itself is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. The two main types of fiber are soluble and insoluble fiber – and each provides unique health benefits.
- Soluble fiber: Soluble fiber forms a gel in the digestive tract and slows digestion. This type of fiber is associated with lower cholesterol levels. Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber.
- Insoluble fiber: Insoluble fiber adds bulk to prevent constipation and improve overall bowel function.
Beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber, is highly viscous, forming a thick gel as it moves through the digestive system. This prevents absorption by the body and assists in elimination. The gel also slows digestion and the release of sugar into the bloodstream, as well as absorbing cholesterol particles and stimulating the gut’s immune cells.
How does beta-glucan help the immune system?
It’s the immune system where beta-glucan shines. It is considered an immunomodulator – a substance that boosts immune function by improving the response of the immune system to a threat. Beta-glucan can strengthen immune cell activity by acting on immune receptors, stimulating neutrophils, T-cells, monocytes, natural killer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells.
There are many different warning signs and symptoms that your immune system may be weakened and need a boost, such as:
- High levels of stress
- Frequent colds
- Recurring digestive issues, such as diarrhea or constipation
- Slow-healing wounds
- Frequent infections
- Constant fatigue
There are many things that you can do to bolster your immune system, and what you consume is one of the most important. The fact is that nutrition and immunity are highly interconnected. What we put into our bodies largely dictates how well our bodies perform for us and how good we feel every day. Everyone benefits from a healthy immune system, particularly children, the elderly, and athletes.
What are other health benefits of beta-glucan?
Beta-glucan benefits the body in many ways that have been scientifically studied and verified. Some of its most important benefits include:
Lower LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.
If you are looking to minimize your risk of heart disease, consuming beta-glucan regularly might help. That’s because beta-glucan can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and, in return, reduce heart disease risk.
Better gut health.
You might assume that a soluble fiber such as beta-glucan would be good for your gut health, and you’d be right. Foods that contain beta-glucan promote a healthier gut microbiome, which may lead to significant improvements in unpleasant symptoms such as bloating and stomach pain.
Fewer respiratory infections.
When taken regularly, beta-glucan supplements may reduce the number and severity of colds and upper respiratory tract infections. While that study was specific to firefighters, this one further shows that beta-glucan may be effective against respiratory infections in other adults as well.
Less trouble with allergies.
People with allergies may benefit from taking a beta-glucan supplement. This study revealed improvements in the severity of allergic reactions to ragweed and overall better quality of life for allergy sufferers.
- A stronger immune system. Beta-glucan may help strengthen immune system function, resulting in better health and well-being. A healthy immune system helps improve everything from energy levels to wound healing to overall health.
Does beta-glucan really work?
Beta-glucan has been studied extensively and found to be highly effective for specific issues. If your goals include lowering your LDL cholesterol, improve your digestion, enjoy a healthier immune system and better overall health, there is clear evidence that beta-glucan can be a vital part of achieving these goals.
Beta-glucan is found in abundance in foods such as oats, barley, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed, and algae. However, there are a few problems with relying on your diet to fill your beta-glucan needs. First of all, considering how busy most people are today, it can be pretty difficult to include these foods in your daily diet. Supplements can help you fill in the gaps in your diet and ensure that your nutritional needs are covered.
The other issue with getting all your beta-glucan from food centers is the type of beta-glucan consumed. Even if you eat lots of foods that contain beta-glucan, you may not be able to achieve optimal health effects without a supplement. That’s because we use a specific molecular chain in our supplements – 1,3/1,6-D. This chain is vitally important for the body to assimilate, and one that you should look for in any beta-glucan supplement you buy. Keep in mind that there are many beta-glucan supplements available that contain only beta-glucan, not beta-glucan 1,3/1,6-D.
That’s why we are so excited to announce our new product: Glucan85Plus. Glucan85Plus is a powerhouse immunity supplement featuring not just 85%+ pure beta-glucan but also elderberry, vitamin D, zinc, and echinacea. There are many products on the market that claim to provide the benefits of beta-glucan yet contain only trace amounts. When you choose Glucan85Plus, you can be sure that you’re choosing a high-quality health supplement that can provide real benefits and better health. Try it and see for yourself all that it can do for you.