What is Beta Glucan?
Beta Glucan is one of the most popular immunoboosters that improve heart health and cholesterol levels. It is also known to regulate blood sugar levels while maintaining healthy gut bacteria and weight issues. It is a big sugar-molecule offering hundreds of benefits including constipation, bad bowel movements, and fever.
Best sources to get Beta Glucan on regular basis:
This dietary fiber is available in the form of the capsule but also in grains. The soluble dietary fiber can be found in barley, oats, wheat, whole grains, baker’s yeast, fungi, mushrooms, etc. These are sugars originated from the cell walls of algae, fungi, yeast, and oats or barley.
An abundant source of Beta Glucan is available in its natural or state, but one cannot get its benefits until it’s cooked. The disadvantage in cooking is most of the nutritions are destroyed, and the amount of Beta Glucan is reduced. The best source, therefore, is to go for the whole grains present in their natural state as much as possible. For instance, do not prefer instant oatmeal over steel-cut oats and barley flour over pearl barley.
How much Beta Glucan we need per day?
The recommended dosage of Beta Glucan to see positive effects on the body would be 3 to 10 grams per day according to the study mentioned in the ‘Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat B-glucan’
However, dosage depends from one source to another when it comes to Beta Glucan.
Consumption of yeast for over 2 months twice per day can lower cholesterol if the quantity has remained at 7.5 grams. On the other hand, the same results were shown by eating oats or barley for a year just in the quantity of 3 to 10 grams per day. Now it is available in many dietary supplements throughout the market. ‘US Food and Drug Administration’ tells about improvement in cholesterol levels by regular Intake of Beta Glucan.
Benefits of Beta Glucan:
The most powerful effect of Beta Glucan is seen in lowering high cholesterol. People suffering from low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol can have positive results after several weeks of B-Glucan intake.
- Other possible positive effects can be seen in a patient suffering from hay fever. Consumption of Beta-Glucans for a month can highly reduce symptoms of this fever.
- Cervix cancer- Women suffering from cervical cancer may find some relief after injecting specific Beta Glucan. However, to get its benefits, it should be taken up until a year.
- Post-surgery Infection- A group of Beta-Glucans originated from the yeast can be injected to the patients who are prone to suffer from Infection after surgery.
- Serious infections like sepsis can be overcome using Beta Glucan.
Beta Glucans have been significantly recommended to improve our health. They are known to boost cellular immunity and protect against Infection. These natural polysaccharides are obtained from the cell wall of fungi for certain pathogenic bacteria. Also healing properties of mushrooms is renowned throughout the years among the Eastern areas. It has a polysaccharide belonging to one of the groups of Beta-Glucans that actively increases the immune defense of the host stimulating natural killer cell function. It activates the complement system while enhancing the macrophages. Review the study to know more
How it helps cancer patient?
Beta Glucan is believed to improve the immune system in cancer patients for fighting bacterial Infection. It enhances a part of the immune system called natural killer cell activity. It helps in attacking cancer cells. These act as prebiotics and promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive system. Beta Glucan, however, is not confirmed to destroy cancer cells, on the contrary, it strengthens the immune system to kill cancer cells.
Once it is in the blood, the small intestine absorbs it and breaks it into several parts. After entering the circulation, they affect the bone marrow and interact with the immune system. After reaching the Immune system, Beta-Glucan can enhance it and promote anti-cancer activity. It manipulates the immune system for producing cytokines (anti-cancer compound) that help in fighting cancer by regulating the inflammation. Patient having cancer doesn’t get any beneficial effects from the injected medicines as blood cells cannot absorb them. In such cases, doctors recommend BRM. This Biological Response modifier is a type of immunotherapy that helps trigger the defense response through the immune system. One of the BRM is Beta Glucan. Just like that, High dose vitamin C in treating cancer patients can be helpful as well.
Best ways for Intake:
Healthcare providers inject Beta Glucans intravenously for the treatment of cancer. It is also believed to increase the immunity of patients fighting from HIV.
A shot of Beta Glucan under the skin is also given for reducing the tumor size for inhibiting the spread of cancer.
Certain supplementary Beta Glucan products claim to take it by mouth only if it is processed by the micronizing procedure. It is a process in which the size of Beta Glucan is reduced to less than 1 micron. Only such mouth intake of Beta Glucan can show results. Otherwise, it is best to take it through the injection.
Many research studies of Beta Glucan relating to various types of cancer are conducted.
1. With fewer trials of Beta Glucan fighting cancer conducted in the human body and most of them in mice and test tubes, the review was published in Anti-Cancer Agents in 2013 in medicinal chemistry. The human trials that were conducted showed a positive impact on the quality of life of a cancer patient.
2. Including Beta Glucan in the diet according to Epidemiological studies, is an excellent way of inhibiting the development of cancer. According to the review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (2019), effectively reduces the development of gastric cancer and breast cancer and slows down the growth of cancer cells that already exist.
3. Review from the Journal of Hematology and Oncology (2009) suggests the late-stage cancer patients can still have their immunity stronger any day by consumption of Beta-Glucans. One among such studies production of a tumor in 60% of patients with breast lung and liver tumors. All the suggestions tell that Beta-Glucan can have mixed effects on the immune system for a late-stage lung cancer patient.
4. Journal Surgery Today (2012) shows the initiation of a mushroom derived Beta-Glucan. Made in Japan, it has been used to prolong the remission of patients using chemotherapy for colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, and small cell lung cancer.
How much Beta Glucan a patient should take per day?
Beta Glucan can effectively help cancer patients that have any Infection or are going through radiation if taken in the right proportion; it may even transfer anti-cancer nutrients to malignant cells. These make macrophages (white blood cells) less dangerous than they would be otherwise. Beta Glucan can surely increase the effectiveness of other cancer treatment if it goes side by side.
A study showed oats having Beta Glucan molecules were harmful to cancer cells but not for normal ones. It is beneficial compared to other treatments as they also kill healthy cells along with the harmful ones that Beta-Glucan does it differently.
Patients can intake Beta-Glucan from natural sources like barley fiber, oats, whole grains, seaweed, and mushrooms. A study was conducted on 30 women having breast cancer. The patients took 2 capsules of 10 mg per day for 21 days in a row between their chemotherapy. The hazardous symptoms were significantly reduced in the patients. The studies suggested the complementary Beta-Glucan therapy improved the lifestyle of breast cancer patients. Basically, it depends on the stage and the criticality of the patient to decide how much of Beta Glucan is safe for Intake.
No such report is out there to show how much of quantity is safe and for whom. The patient is advised to take a proper prescription from the doctor before deciding the amount of Beta-Glucan daily consumption as an anti-cancer therapy.
However, renowned experts like AJ Lanigan say that it usually takes eight times the standard dose of the tablets when it comes to your unhealthy body. If one talks about a healthy body, they should be fine after intaking 100 milligrams of the capsule if your weight is around 110 pounds. However, as the weight increases, the Intake of the pill also enhances. For instance, for a person weighing 220 pounds, the consumption should be around 200 milligrams. However, the amount mentioned above is only for people who don’t have cancer. A cancer patient is advised to have 500 milligrams of the product if your weight is around 55 pounds for no harmful effects. And 300 to 500mg of the capsule is recommended for the bodyweight of 25 kg. The amount of product to intake in cancer gradually advances with the increase in weight of the body. No harmful side effects are seen until now when the consumption is as per the guidelines.
Intake of Beta Glucan is mostly safe for adults if taken in proper amounts every day. It is safe when taken by mouth, injected in the muscles or topical application on the skin for a short period.
Some disadvantages are:
- Overdose in an average adult can cause headache, upset stomach, rash, and flushing
- Women should not consume Beta Glucan without a doctor’s prescription if they are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People having an allergic reaction to Beta Glucan can develop rashes when applied on the skin
- The patient suffering from HIV or AIDS can develop thick skin patches on the feet and hand on the regular consumption of Beta Glucan.
People who are unfit for consuming beta-glucan to treat themselves can always go for High dose Vitamin C for Cancer and other diseases.
Beta Glucan can be consumed as a complementary therapy for a patient suffering from cancer. There is enough evidence of how beneficial it can be if taken the right amount at the right time.
It can help in slowing down the growth of a tumor and stops its spread in other parts. The research about Beta Glucan therapy and its effectiveness on cancer patients is still going on to get even precise results.