Are there any studies that show beta glucan can cause a cytokine storm? First of all, science has classified Beta glucan as an immunomodulator. Immunomodulators “im·mu·no·mod·u·lat·or/ (-mod´u-la´ter) are an agent that augments or diminishes immune responses.” In other words it helps regulate the immune system. When it needs a boost it helps give the immune system a boost, when it needs to calm down, it helps calm it down. In plain terms, it acts as a carburetor for the immune system. As you can see the fluwiki article supports that. But is there scientific proof that it acts as a regulator as related to cytokine storms? Is there any evidence it increases, reduces and/or regulates cytokine production?
- “attenuate cytokine production in response”
- “can modulate cellular inflammatory cytokine production”
- “particulate beta-glucans attenuate cytokine production… suggest that beta-glucans may be used to prevent or treat excessive microglial activation during chronic inflammatory conditions.”
- “unlike in macrophages and dendritic cells, beta-glucan-mediated microglial activation did not result in significant production of cytokine’s or chemokines”
The key here to understand is that beta 1, 3-d glucan can be derived from many sources, from oats, barley, baker yeast, mushroom’s, etc… Depending on what beta glucan is derived from can determine what responses it produces. For example, oat and barley beta glucan have been shown to produce beneficial results when it comes to heart health but they lack in beneficial immune support results when compared to baker’s yeast beta glucan.- However lab grade baker’s yeast beta glucan has also been shown to provide circulatory benefits as well., lab grade Beta glucan has been shown to enhance innate immune response in the body without inducing damaging pro-inflammatory cytokine’s. This provides evidence that lab grade Beta glucan may provide protection against colds and flu’s-. However inferior grade beta glucan can have a large percentage of protein, and that could adverse effects. So if you are going out to buy some, make sure you buy the correct one with the minimal amount of protein. The Beta glucan is found between the inside wall and the outside wall of the Baker’s yeast cell, this “coating” is called mannon, or mannon protein. This coat can block the Beta 1, 3-d glucan from uptake into our immune system so it will have little or no effect. However the main concern is the mannon proteins are very toxic, they can cause inflammation, the one thing you want to stay away from . So you better know what you are buying!, one works and the other don’t
Thus, purity is of major concern. Not only must all these mannons be removed but all traces of the yeast must be removed so even people allergic to yeast can take it.
There are a couple important issues to understand here;
- The beta 1, 3-d glucan used was derived from saccharomyces cerevisiae, i.e. bakers yeast beta glucan
- It was high quality pure beta-1, 3 d glucan that was used in the study, above 80% pure 1,3-d linkage.
- There are many products available claiming to the baker’s yeast derived beta 1,3-d glucan. However many of them are of inferior quality and may not provide the results you are looking for. In fact they may do just the opposite. The key is educating yourself on how to identify a high quality baker’s yeast beta glucan product.
- Below 5% protein content
Recently the University of Louisville published a study on the most popular immune support products. Beta glucan was among them. One product out preformed all the rest, as a matter of fact, it was the Beta glucan product that came out on top and most of the rest, they preformed about as well as the negative control (and you will be very surprised what the negative control is). The important thing to remember here is that Beta glucan does not treat or cure anything, it simply helps support proper immune support function. To review this immune support study click here. To review the protein content of the top five beta glucan products conducted by and gov approved lab click here.
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