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Are beta-glucans the piece of the puzzle that’s missing from the immune system?

Are beta-glucans the piece of the puzzle that’s missing from the immune system?

For people who often have to deal with severe levels of physical stress - for example, people who do strenuous exercise, people who hold high-responsibility positions at work, or people who are not very effective at managing their stress – taking beta-glucan supplements can help to reduce fatigue and keep the immune system strong.

A recent study in the scientific journal, Open Biochemistry Journal, shows just that. First, it is worth noting that in nature, beta-glucans are found in foods such as grains, oats and edible mushrooms. The exact chemical structure of beta-glucans is different in each food and also probably differs in their immunological effect.

Although we are still at a very early stage of the research, we do know that the beta-glucans in the body appear to activate the receptor of major importance for the activation of macrophages, neutrophils, eosinophils, B cells and dendritic cells.

Through these receptors, researchers suspect that beta-glucans boost large parts of the immune system. Beta-glucans make immune cells more aggressive and thereby increase the production of antibodies.


Daniel Kapsis, Dietitian – Sports Nutritionist MSc, PhDc

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