Beta 1,3 Glucan has emerged as one of nature’s most potent and well-researched nutritional immune system activators with thousands of peer-reviewed articles in medical and scientific journals detailing its powerful health benefits. How it works:
1) Beta 1,3 glucan primes immune cells for action. In the body, beta 1,3 glucan passes through the small intestine into the bloodstream and lymphatic system where its linear structure allows it to bind to immune cells ranging from macrophages, neutrophils and natural killer (NK) cells. Essentially, beta 1,3 glucan fits into receptors on these white blood cells like a key into a lock, instantly switching them on, or “priming” them for action. These “primed” immune cells are then mobilized to work harder and faster to identify, attack and kill invading viruses and bacteria. Studies show that this “priming” effect both makes the immune system more effective at rooting out infections, reducing the incidences of sickness. And if and when infections do take hold, “primed” immune cells mount a speedier response clearing the infection, which can result in reduced severity of symptoms plus faster recovery time and healing. Beta glucan is such a powerful immune activator that it’s currently being researched for its anti-tumor effects, because it can help enhance macrophages’ natural ability to engulf carcinogenic cell growths and eliminate them from the body.
2) Beta 1,3 glucan strengthens barrier function. The viscous intestinal lining is the one of the body’s first lines of defense against infection: It allows for the absorption of things like water and nutrients, while also acting as a barrier that keeps toxins and pathogens from reaching the bloodstream. Stress, inflammation and other factors can weaken this lining, allowing for tiny tears that create a condition called leaky gut, which makes it easier for toxins and pathogens to spread through the body, wreaking havoc. Beta 1,3 glucan is taken up by the cells that line the gut, helping to strengthen the integrity of this barrier defense.
3)Beta 1,3 glucan fosters a healthy microbiome. In the gut, beta 1,3 glucan has prebiotic effects: Beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria feed on beta 1,3 glucan’s long chains of glucose, which provides nourishing fuel that helps these good bacteria thrive and multiply. That’s good news, because these good bacteria play a crucial role in crowding out bad bacteria and yeast that can cause bloat, digestive upset and spur carb cravings. What’s more, when beneficial bacteria feed on beta 1,3 glucan, they release short chain fatty acids such as butyrate, acetate and propionate, which have shown to have a wide range of health benefits. Research shows that butyrate in particular has anti-inflammatory effects that regulate activity of immune-boosting T-cells, while other studies have shown short chain fatty acids to have beneficial effects on metabolism, heart health and mood.
The payoff: Studies show that the immune-boosting effects of beta 1,3 glucan work in practice! In a clinical trial to investigate the benefits of beta glucan, healthy participants taking the equivalent beta 1,3 glucan found in Truth Sports’s Beta Glucan Immune daily reported: 3.3 fewer self-reported sick days compared to those given placebo 45% fewer upper respiratory tract infection episodes compared to the placebo group 70% fewer upper respiratory symptoms when compared to the placebo group 10 fewer upper respiratory tract infection symptom days compared to the placebo group And in those who did get sick, the global severity of the illness was 80% lower in the beta 1,3 glucan group compared to the placebo group *
Importantly, because beta glucan works by activating or modulating immune cell activity rather than stimulating the production or actions of these cells, it’s unlikely to prompt the overstimulation or overreaction of the immune system that can lead to health issues. Experts note that this makes beta glucan a safer immune supplement for those with autoimmune disorders where the immune system turns on the body’s own tissues, such as Hashitmotos, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus (*But patients should consult their health care provider before taking a new supplement.) It’s also good news in the fight against Covid-19: Beta glucan helps prime the immune system to fight off the virus. But should an infection take root, beta glucan won’t contribute to and may actually help prevent the “cytokine storm” that can cause complications in Covid-19 patients.