Les bienfaits des bêta-glucanes sur le système immunitaire

The benefits of beta-glucans for the immune system

Table of content

We are what we eat.

~

We all know this expression, but the more medicine advances, the more we realize how true it is. Researchers at the University of Bonn, Germany, have proven that an unhealthy diet can trick our immune system into thinking it needs to respond to bacterial infections. 🦠

The study published in Cell showed that poor quality foods make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term. This ends up accelerating the development of diseases like cancer, chronic illnesses, and other serious illnesses. [1].

If you think about it carefully, it's not very surprising: the body does what it is given. If it is supplied with poor quality, adulterated fuel, it will perform less well, age more quickly and become ill. 🤒

On the other hand, it is possible to improve your immune system and its general functioning by eating quality food and using natural food supplements.

Beta-glucans have been in the spotlight for several years now 🎯 for their benefits, particularly on our immune system.

What are beta glucans?

Beta-glucans are polysaccharides (long sugar molecules) present in the cell walls of fungi, certain plants, bacteria or even in whole grains, yeast and algae.

beta glucan food

They can be consumed by eating these types of foods, however, dietary supplements such as Immupran are a serious option to increase your daily intake.

They have been studied for their potential role in health benefits, particularly regarding immunity. 🛡️

The benefits of beta-glucans to strengthen the immune system

The benefits of beta-glucan include the fact that it is a soluble fiber. 👉 Soluble fiber has the effect of delaying the digestion process, meaning that the sugar in our diet is absorbed more slowly, helping to keep our blood sugar levels stable.

They also help capture cholesterol particles in our digestive system, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. And finally, they help stimulate immune cells in the intestine.

How do beta-glucans act on the immune response?

Beta-glucans work by stimulating our body's immune responses , increasing the production of white blood cells (lymphocytes) and strengthening the activity of immune system cells, including macrophages, NK (Natural Killer) cells and also neutrophils. 💪

Macrophages are immune cells that play an important role in defending against infection and disease by ingesting and digesting foreign cells and particles.

NK cells help protect our bodies against infections and disease by targeting and killing infected cells.

As for neutrophils, they are the first to respond in the event of an infection, rushing to the site of invasion to phagocytize pathogens and release enzymes that break them down.

🧐

Phagocytize

Process where the body's protective cells ingest and digest particles, foreign substances.

But how do beta-glucans act on these immune cells?

  • On macrophages and NK cells : They act on macrophage receptors by binding to them, which stimulates the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and cytokines, which in turn activate other protective cells, including including neutrophils. Then activated by beta-glucans, macrophages and NK cells have an increased capacity to phagocytose pathogens, which then makes them more effective in fighting diseases and acting against viruses for example.
🧐

Cytokine

Messenger produced by our body which allows cells to communicate with each other.

  • On neutrophils : Beta-glucans also stimulate the activity of neutrophils, increasing their capacity to mobilize towards sites of infection, strengthening their phagocytosis power, and activating the release of chemicals that directly kill pathogens. This coordinated action ensures a rapid and effective immune response, thus improving the body's defense against intruders.

According to recent research[2] conducted by dr. Elena De Marco Castro, Philip C. Calder and Helen M Roche and published on Pubmed, beta-glucans could have the capacity to strengthen the pathogenic defenses of immunoprotective cells. This means they can increase our resistance to conditions such as colds, flu, respiratory tract infections, allergies, etc.

Most current scientific research has focused on beta-glucans from medicinal mushrooms, called polysaccharides and bound to proteins. The Journal of Hematology & Oncology published a study demonstrating their usefulness in the prevention of several types of cancer [3].

Some experts including Dr. Jane E Ramberg [5] believe that beta-glucans in concentrated doses (not from food sources) can stimulate immune responses to destroy cancer cells and help prevent tumor growth.

Some health care providers give patients beta-glucans intravenously to help boost their immune systems when they are battling cancer or AIDS, or when recovering from surgery.

📚

A study carried out in India by Dr Kadalraja Raghavan and his team even demonstrated the beneficial effects of beta-glucans on patients with Covid-19 [4].

Beta-glucan and cholesterol

As said before, beta-glucans are soluble fibers that can control cholesterol levels and reduce its absorption in the intestinal tract, leading to a reduction in total blood cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol). ❤️

They also help maintain HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in the blood.

It is important to note that these effects may vary depending on the dose and source of the beta-glucans consumed.

The benefits of beta-glucans and Reishi, the winning combination

Reishi beta glucan immune system

Not content with offering a substantial daily intake of beta-glucans, Immupran contains beta-glucans from saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast but also from mushrooms 🍄

👉 beta-glucans from mushrooms, Reishi extracts more precisely.

Reishi is the Japanese name for the mushroom Ganoderma lucidum. Recognized as one of the most powerful herbal remedies in traditional Chinese medicine, it is called "ling zhi", which translates to "holy herb".

Reishi has been included in the pharmacopoeias of traditional Chinese medicine since around 200 BC. At the time, it was reserved for royalty or very wealthy people, due to its rarity. Thanks to modern culture, it is now much easier to obtain and its popularity is spreading around the world.

With this growing interest, research into Reishi mushroom is also growing and we are learning more about its health benefits [6] as well as its specific compounds and their actions. Medicinal mushrooms like Reishi are mainly recognized for their properties and their action on the immune system and to calm the nervous system.

Side effects ?

Beta-glucans are generally well tolerated and safe when consumed in the amounts found in foods and as recommended by manufacturers.

⚠️

Attention

As immune-boosting supplements, they may not be suitable for everyone. In particular, people suffering from autoimmune diseases should exercise caution, as stimulating the immune system could potentially worsen their condition.

Conclusion

To summarize ⬇️

Benefits the immune system by activating and increasing the function of white blood cells such as macrophages, neutrophils and NK cells.

Beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption.

To benefit from these benefits, it is recommended to include foods rich in beta-glucans in your diet, such as mushrooms and whole grains.

For faster results, natural food supplements such as Immupran, which combines beta-glucans with Reishi extracts , are a possibility.

Note that these effects may vary depending on the dose and source of beta-glucans consumed. When consuming a supplement, it is important to follow manufacturers' recommendations and maintain a balanced diet to obtain an adequate source of beta-glucans.

FAQs

What is beta glucan?

Beta-glucans are natural soluble fibers found primarily in the cell walls of certain grains, fungi, yeast, bacteria, and algae.

They are known for their health benefits, including their ability to strengthen the immune system.

How do beta glucans strengthen the immune system?

Beta-glucans stimulate the activity of the immune system by activating immune cells such as macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer (NK) cells.

This activation helps improve the body's defense against pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, etc. 🦠

Can we find beta-glucans in our food?

Yes, beta-glucans are found in grains like oats, barley, and other whole grains. 🌾

Also, they are found in a variety of foods such as mushrooms like reishi, shiitake and maitake, baker's yeast and seaweed.

Are there any risks or contraindications to consuming beta-glucans?

Generally, beta-glucans are considered safe and well-tolerated, especially when consumed in the amounts found naturally in foods.

However, their use in the form of supplements, due to their ability to stimulate the immune system, requires special attention from certain people.

Individuals with autoimmune disorders should be careful 🚨, as overstimulating the immune system could exacerbate their symptoms. 😰

How can I include beta-glucans in my diet?

It is essential to choose quality foods. To start, include whole grains such as oats and barley in your diet, making sure to select unprocessed products to maintain their benefits.

Medicinal mushrooms, such as shiitake or reishi, eaten fresh or powdered, are also excellent sources of beta-glucans.

However, for those looking to see more immediate results or who have difficulty incorporating these foods into their diet, opting for dietary supplements can be a practical and effective alternative.

Sources

  • https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(17)31493-9
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32223047/
  • https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-8722-2-25
  • https://www.nutraingredients-asia.com/Article/2021/09/21/COVID-19-and-beta-glucans-Pilot-study-shows-two-strains-can-help-control-biomarkers-of- clinical-severity
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21087484/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22593926/

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