If you aren't in perfect health, then your immune system may need help.

zarkovBeta-glucan is a family of complex carbohydrates that serve as structural elements in the cell walls of plants, yeasts, and mushrooms. LifeLink’s beta-glucan comes from baker’s yeast. This supplement is now of great interest to medical researchers because of its ability to stimulate immune function, to improve cholesterol profiles, and to inhibit (or even reverse) cancer progression. Its immune effects are broad and can be directed at many health problems, including:

  • cancer
  • high cholesterol
  • hypertension
  • allergies
  • diabetes
  • wounds
  • over-eating, obesity
  • viral infections, such as hepatitis, HIV
  • bacterial infections
  • parasitic infections

Immune system modulation. The body’s first lines of defense against infections involve physical barriers and the destruction of invading microorganisms by antibodies. Pathogens that manage to evade these defenses will (one hopes) trigger further defensive processes known as ‘cell-mediated immunity’. Beta-glucan operates at both of these stages of immunity..

Beta-glucan acts in very complex ways upon the immune system. It stimulates the production of various signaling molecules, and these, in turn, activate immune cells. In this way, beta-glucan activates a wide variety of immune defenses, protecting the body against infections by viral, bacterial, fungal and protozoal pathogens, and even defending it against cancer.

Cancer-fighting properties. Beta-glucan’s anti-cancer effects result from its ability to modulate the immune system. And its immune effects derive from its activation of macrophage cells. Macrophages are immune cells that trap and engulf foreign cells and particles, scavenge cellular debris, and destroy infectious agents such as viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungi.

Studies in cell culture, in lab animals, and in humans have shown that the anti-tumor activity initiated by beta-glucan can be long-lived and can occur even when beta-glucan is given orally one month prior to the presence of a tumor. Some of the cancer types that have been shown to be sensitive to beta-glucan supplementation include:

  • breast cancer
  • lymphoma
  • colon cancer
  • sarcoma
  • liver cancer
  • lung cancer

Pollen allergies. Pollen allergies are caused by a poorly regulated immune system. Beta-glucan seems to improve immune regulation. Researchers at Meiji University have shown that beta-glucan “is able to alleviate cedar pollen-induced allergic symptoms.”

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