Beta-glucan has been recognized for its immune-enhancing effects for centuries; and yeast-derived beta-glucan has become the subject of over 800 scientific studies to date. Beta Glucan Forte contains concentrated 1,3/1,6 beta-glucan from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a source known to have broad immune-supportive effects.[2-4] Beta-glucan is produced by fungi, grains, seaweed, and yeast, but not by mammalian cells.[3-5] While each source of beta-glucan has its own unique structure of glucose linkages, purified yeast-derived beta-glucan from S cerevisiae is considered the most effective source.[6-7] Purity of the product is vital, since protein contaminants can cause untoward immune reactions. Arthritis Center of Riverside’s Beta Glucan Forte is refined to remove most impurities, including proteins and fats that can interfere with uptake and effectiveness. Mannan, a potential trigger of allergic reactions or inflammatory bowel exacerbation, has been removed.
Ongoing research has unveiled a detailed mechanism of action, including activation of macrophages, neutrophils, and T-cell-mediated immunity, with a potential adjuvant role in monoclonal antibody therapy.[3,8,9] Orally administered yeast beta-glucan is processed by macrophages—the first line of defense in cellular immunity—with subsequent increases in phagocytosis, selective cytokine release, and oxidative degranulation. Macrophages degrade beta-glucan into small fragments that are then bound to neutrophils (granulocytes), the most abundant immune cells in the body. Neutrophils then become primed and are better able to eradicate microbial challenges. Through a process called chemotaxis, these primed neutrophils migrate to target sites with enhanced immune actions.[3,11] Prophylactic administration of beta-glucan was found to positively affect levels of the antioxidant enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase, moderate pro-inflammatory cytokines, and assist in ameliorating microbial imbalance.
Research demonstrates a sustained release of soluble fragments over a multi-day period, providing a unique mechanism of action for the beta-glucan form found in Beta Glucan Forte. Studies also indicate that the entrance of these soluble fragments into the bone marrow may affect white-blood-cell recovery, further enhancing immune-supportive effects. Individuals at increased risk for infection, surgical patients, or those in need of immune support have been found to benefit from the immune-enhancing effects of Beta Glucan Forte.[2,6,8,12,14] a 12-week, randomized, phase II, double-blind, placebo controlled, parallel-group trial of 1,3/1,6 beta-glucan from S cerevisiae was conducted. Long-term use of beta-glucan was well tolerated and resulted in a reduction in acute immune challenge discomforts.
1. Tian J, Ma J, Wang S, et al. Increased expression of mGITRL on D2SC/1 cells by particulate n-glucan impairs the suppressive effect of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells and enhances the effector T cell proliferation. Cell Immunol. 2011 May 10;270(2):183-7. [PMID: 21636079]
2. Feldman S, Schwartz HI, Kalman DS, et al. Randomized phase II clinical trials of Wellmune WGP1* for immune support during cold and flu season. JAppI Res. 2009 March-June;9(1&2):30-42.http://jrnlappliedresearch.com/articles/Vol9lss1/FeldmanVol9No1 .pdf. Accessed September 9, 2011.
3. Driscoll M, Hansen R, Ding C, et al. Therapeutic potential of various beta-glucan sources in conjunction with anti-tumor monoclonal antibody in cancer therapy. Cancer Biol Ther. 2009 Feb;8(3):218-25. [PMID: 19106638]
4. Liang, J., D. et al. Enhanced clearance of a multiple antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in rats treated with PGG-glucan is associated with increased leukocyte counts and increased neutrophil oxidative burst activity. Int J Immunopharmacol. 1998 Nov;20(11):595-614. [PMID: 9848393]
5. Vetvicka V. Glucan-immunostimulant, adjuvant, potential drug. World J Clin Oncol. 2011 Feb 10;2(2):115-9. [PMID: 21603320]
6. Vetvicka V, Terayama K, Mandeville R, et al. Pilot study: orally-administered yeast (31,3-glucan prophylactically protects against anthrax infection and cancer in mice. JANA. 2002;5(2):5-9. Reprint. http://www.ana-jana.org/Journal/journals/JANAVol52.pdf. Accessed August 21.
7. Natural Standard Database http://naturalstandard.com. Accessed July 23, 2011.
8. Yan J, Allendorf DJ, Brandley B. Yeast whole glucan particle (WGP) beta-glucan in conjunction with antitumour monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer. Expert Opin. Biol Ther. 2005 May;5(5):691-702. [PMID: 15934844]
9. Qi C, Cai Y, Gunn L, et al. Differential pathways regulating innate and adaptive antitumor immune responses by particulate and soluble yeast-derived B-glucans. Blood. 2011 Jun 23;117(25):6825-36. [PMID: 21531981]
10. Pelizon AC, Kaneno R, Soares AM, et al. Immunomodulatory activities associated with beta-glucan derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Physiol Res. 2005;54(5):557-64. [PMID: 16238470]
11. Tsikitis V, Albina J, Reichner J. Beta-glucan affects leukocyte navigation in a complex chemotactic ingredient. Surgery. 2004 Aug;136(2):384-9. [PMID: 15300205]
12. Senoglu N, Yuzbasioglu MF, Aral M, et al. Protective effects of N-acetylcysteine and beta-glucan pretreatment on oxidative stress in cecal ligation and puncture model of sepsis. J Invest Surg. 2008 Sep-Oct;21(5):237-43. [PMID: 19160131]
13. Turnbull, JL, Patchen ML, Scadden DT.The polysaccharide, PGGglucan, enhances human myelopoiesis by direct action independent of and additive to early-acting cytokines. Acta Haematol. 1999;102(2):66-71. [PMID: 10529508]
14. Kournikakis B, Mandeville R, Brousseau P, et al. Anthrax-protective effects of yeast beta 1,3 glucans Med Gen Med. 2003 Mar 21 ;5(1 ):1. [PMID:12827062].
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