Staying healthy depends critically on the health of your immune system. Studies indicate that the supplement 1-3, 1-6 beta glucans is among the most effective strategies to encourage the immune system. So much so that the US Government is presently testing a new beta glucans with a view to stockpiling it as a protective measure against the possibility of nuclear radiation.
Unfortunately, we live in a somewhat toxic world. Air pollution, pesticides, herbicides, poisons and pollutants enter our food chain through soil, water and atmosphere – and all these produce substantial pressure to our immune systems. Annually in Europe as many as 250 million tons of 700,000 different toxic chemicals are discharged into the air, ground and water – that is roughly a ton annually for each individual! The evidence of acute health risks from all this pollution is persuasive.
Numerous studies show links between chemical exposure and numerous health problems, including cancer, depression, mood swings, asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic ailments. The best thing we could do, confronted with these inevitable health risks, is to strengthen our body’s immune system to safeguard against damaging influences – which naturally include bacterial and viral threats. Fortunately, there’s a totally natural supplement that has proven to be among the very best agents to support the human immune system.
It is a supplement derived and purified from the cell wall of common baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Research indicates that critical cellular components of the human immune system – macrophages, neutrophils and natural killer (NK) cells – actually have specific receptors for the beta glucan macromolecule. It appears that Nature has”designed” beta glucan to offer support for our immune systems. Studies that support the effectiveness of a correctly refined beta glucans (referenced below) originated with lab experiments.
For instance 90% of subjects exposed to very significant levels of E-coli survived when their innate immune systems were primed by 1-3, 1-6 beta-glucans. 0% survived in the control group. In a further test, 80% survived exposure to elevated levels of Staphylococcus aureus compared to 0% in the control group. In a further evaluation when beta glucans was administered in conjunction with anti-biotics after exposure to bacteria, the amount of bacteria needed to really create disease has been increased by up to 2,000 fold.
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A recent human study revealed a beta glucan supplement significantly increased the amount of immune cells which were actively engulfing and destroying one or more foreign particles or intruders. These results demonstrate that taking beta glucan improved the human immune system to defend the body against a challenge. Additionally, the amounts of several essential cytokines (proteins that support immune function) were raised also. 1-3, 1-6 beta glucan offers protection against diseases by improving four key immune reactions.
It primes the principal components of the immune system – the macrophages, neutrophils and natural killer (NK) cells – to defend the body from a wide assortment of foreign challenges (called pathogens). These cells are chiefly responsible for destroying pathogens and tumour cells. Second, it enhances the ability of these cells to move from peripheral flow from the body to the particular site of the attempted “invasion” by a pathogen. The 1-3, 1-6 beta glucans do so by bending or binding onto the surface of neutrophils and ‘priming’ them in the manner that a weapon could possibly be primed.
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The neutrophil is then able to seek out and destroy any pathogen – make it a virus (influenza ) or germs or just a cancer cell. Third, beta glucan enhances the ability of those innate immune cells to phagocytize, or”engulf and consume” pathogens. Finally, beta glucan enhances the ability of natural killer cells to release the chemicals that kill pathogens. The final result of the four fold activity is a substantial enhancement of the body’s ability to fight against pathogenic challenges – if fungal, parasitic, viral or cancer-related.
Who should take beta glucan? The general response is that anybody who wishes to maintain or improve the effectiveness of the immune system. That includes anyone who encounters daily anxiety (which lowers the immune response), and individuals that are vulnerable to infectious diseases, or experiencing incomplete and slow recovery. Additional conditions for use would consist of people entering hospital – that are at greater risk of disease – as are long distance air travellers, that are exposed to a higher levels of UV radiation than usual. A clear time for many people to think about using an immune booster is at the pre-flu season.